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Contested Constitution: Contested Democracy?

Lecture by Rik Peters

After a short introduction about the problem of legitimization of democratic constitutions in general and the European constitution in particular, I discuss how constitutions have been legitimized in history.

Focusing on the rhetorics of constitutional debates, I address the question whether the usual methods of legitimization of constitutions of national states are still applicable in a supra-national setting. An answer to this question is obtained by focusing on the ways in which constitutions have become contested. Discussing the case of the Italian constitution from Cavour to Mussolini and Berlusconi, I argue that constitutions have been founded on narratives that lose significance in the course of time. On this basis I draw some conclusions on the future of the European constitution.

Rik Peters

Since 2003, Rik Peters is lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Groningen. From 2008 onwards he is a researcher in the NWO funded project Contested Constitutions, Exploring the Foundations of Modern Democracies. He published several papers on the philosophy of history and on rhetoric in (inter)national journals.

When & Where?

Wednesday 29 May 2013, 15.15-17.00 h

Faculty of Philosophy, Oude Boteringestraat 52, room Omega

This Lecture is part of the Democracy in Debate series

Laatst gewijzigd:10 juni 2016 14:41