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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: August 2020

2 - Constitution Making through Law

from Part I - Conceptual, Normative, and Empirical Issues


Does the absence of a legal rupture, the failure to put into practice the idea of a legally unrestrained popular sovereign, necessarily mean that an exercise of constituent power has not taken place? Can constituent power be exercised through law? These are questions that indirectly challenge one of the features normally attributed to constituent power: its unmediated and uncontrollable nature. This chapter will compare two traditions of constitutional thought (that of Sieyès and Rousseau) that provided different answers to those questions and explore the ways in which the idea that constituent power can be exercised through legally recognised procedures has figured in later constitutional theory and practice.

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