This chapter begins by differentiating constituent power and constituted power. It then focuses on the assessment of the contribution made by the concept of constituent power to an understanding of public law. It notes that this is a complex task because constituent power resists simple absorption into juristic categories. It explains that the main reason for it is the fact that constituent power articulates the power of the multitude: constituent power is the juristic expression of the democratic impetus. It adds that the concept expresses the tensions between democracy and law. It clarifies that constituent power is the generative principle of modern constitutional arrangements. It provides juristic expression to those forces that constantly irritate the formal constitution, thus ensuring it is able to perform its political function. It outlines the emergence of democracy in modern political thought.
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