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The Constitution of IndiaPopular Sovereignty and Democratic Transformations$
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Sarbani Sen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198071600

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198071600.001.0001

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Post-Founding Transformations

Post-Founding Transformations

(p.163) Seven Post-Founding Transformations
The Constitution of India

Sarbani Sen

Oxford University Press

This chapter attempts to trace the path of exercise of the principle of popular sovereignty in the post-founding period in its third stage of redefinition. In the Indian constitutional tradition, in this third form, popular sovereign power expresses itself during periods of ‘constitutional politics’ in Ackerman's sense, through processes of constitutional transformation that break through existing procedures for constitutional change under Article 368, but which nevertheless creatively adapt present institutional forms to generate prolonged periods of discourse between the citizens and political leaders to arrive at a consensus on conflicting issues. This expression of popular sovereign power falls in between the direct exercise of sovereign power by the people to alter and abolish an arbitrary colonial government that occurred in the pre-founding period, and the proceduralized form of opinion and will formation serving to legitimate ordinary law-making in the nation state.

Keywords:   constitution, popular sovereignty, post-founding period, sovereign power, constitutional change, property rights, parliament

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