Beyond the Post-Sovereign State?: The Past, Present, and Future of Constitutional Pluralism
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 September 2019
Constitutional pluralism is a theory for the post-sovereign European state. This only makes sense historically, emerging out of postwar European reconstruction through the repression of popular sovereignty and restraining of democracy, including through the project of European integration. It became unsettled at Maastricht and evolved from a series of irritants into a full-blown crisis in the recent decade, with sovereignty claims returning both from the bottom-up and the top-down, to the extent that we can legitimately ask whether we are now moving ‘beyond the post-sovereign state’? Constitutional pluralist literature fails to capture this in that evades material issues of democracy and political economy.
- Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies , Volume 21 , December 2019 , pp. 6 - 23
- Copyright © Centre for European Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge
I would like to thank Cormac Mac Amhlaigh and Kenneth Armstrong for comments on an earlier draft.
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20 Italics added.
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59 Constitutional pluralism has an ambiguous relationship with the German Constitutional Court in general and its Maastricht-Urteil in particular. (Brunner, note 7 above). The significance of that judgment for generating the momentum for constitutional pluralist scholarship can hardly be doubted. But constitutional pluralism appears a defensive rear-guard reaction to its judgments, a series of attempts to domesticate them, to temper their potentially harmful effects on the European constitutionalist project and the post-sovereign condition.
60 See MacCormick, note 10 above, and MacCormick, Questioning Sovereignty, note 3 above, p 265.
61 MacCormick, note 10 above, p 259.
62 MacCormick, Questioning Sovereignty, note 3 above, p 265.
63 BVerfGE, 123/267 Judgment of 30 June 2009.
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74 Ibid, p 152. Elusively, and all too briefly, he skirts over ‘whatever storm clouds now hover over the prospects for the single currency’ (ibid, p 155). MacCormick was far from the only one to succumb to what Majone later characterized as the ‘culture of total optimism’. Majone, G, Rethinking the Union of Europe Post-Crisis: Has Integration Gone Too Far? (Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp 58–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
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