Handbook on Global Constitutionalism
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Handbook on Global Constitutionalism

Edited by Anthony F. Lang and Antje Wiener

This Handbook introduces scholars and students to the history, philosophy, and evidence of global constitutionalism. Contributors provide their insights from law, politics, international relations, philosophy, and history, drawing on diverse frameworks and empirical data sets. Across them all, however, is a recognition that the international order cannot be understood without an understanding of constitutional theory. The Handbook will define this field of inquiry for the next generation by bringing together some of the leading contemporary scholars.
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Chapter 10: Realist perspectives on global constitutionalism

Oliver Jütersonke


This chapter offers a series of thought experiments about what it might mean to adopt a realist perspective on global constitutionalism. On the one hand, it is through an approach that seeks to relate the law to concrete social processes, as originally advocated by the legal realists, that one can begin to make a case for an observed constitutionalization on the supranational level. On the other, however, political realists will point to the ‘ism’ in global constitutionalism that ultimately entails an apology for state interests, systemic inequalities, ‘untamed’ sovereignty, and the occlusion of particularist ideologies behind highly instrumentalized appeals to a universally accepted normative order.

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