Edited by Anthony F. Lang and Antje Wiener
Chapter 5: The Enlightenment and global constitutionalism
This chapter argues that, if viewed literally, the rise of global constitutionalism reflects a process which is diametrically opposed to the dynamic underpinning classical constitutions. If we can identify a global constitutional system, it is defined by (1) the primacy of international human rights law, (2) high authority of judicial bodies and (3) weakening of the constituent power of the nation. These features of the global constitution set it apart from the principles of classical constitutionalism, the defining components of which were formulated during the Enlightenment. However, if viewed more sociologically, global constitutionalism appears not to contradict, but to extend the ideas of constitutionalism proposed in the Enlightenment, and it refracts similar societal processes.
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