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The Paradox of ConstitutionalismConstituent Power and Constitutional Form$
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Martin Loughlin and Neil Walker

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199552207

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199552207.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Paradox of Constitutionalism
Author(s):

Martin Loughlin

Neil Walker

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199552207.003.0001

This introductory chapter presents the key issues to be examined in the book, in particular the tension between the claim that governmental power is generated from the ‘consent of the people’ and the claim that for such power to be effective, it must be divided, constrained, and exercised through distinctive institutional forms. It explains that the essays that follow are divided into three main sections. Part I considers the historical emergence of the idea of constituent power in modern European thought and practice. Part II examines a range of theoretical perspectives on the nature of the relationship. Part III evaluates the continuing importance and (possible) reconfiguration of this relationship in the light of a series of contemporary issues of a constitutional nature. An overview of the key themes developed in these essays is provided.

Keywords:   paradox of constitutionalism, constituent power, history, theory, contemporary issues

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