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Norms of constitutionalism in the international constitutionalisation debate

12 April 2012

PhD ceremony: Ms. A.M. O’Donoghue, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Norms of constitutionalism in the international constitutionalisation debate

Promotor(s): prof. M.M.T.A. Brus

Faculty: Law

The international constitutionalisation debate provides a coherent narrative to further understand international governance. Aoife O’Donoghue considers whether the international constitutionalisation debate is centred upon constitutional norms. She examines the role played by constitutionalism and considers whether it is incorporated to the extent necessary to assert that a process of international constitutionalisation is underway. The piece considers both constituted power as the legal basis on which authority is exercised and constituent power as the exercise of political power. The work questions whether in a constitutional system the holders of constituent and constituted power should be identifiable and follows this by considering whether their identification ensures that core concepts of a constitutional order, such as the rule of law, separation of powers and democratic legitimacy, function effectively. It is necessary to understand how the international constitutionalisation debate emerged, to illustrate its nature and the categories into which the international constitutionalisation debate has evolved as well as examining its relationship with constitutionalism. The work asks whether norms of constitutionalism such as the rule of law, the separation of powers and democratic legitimacy are core aspects of international constitutionalisation theories. International constitutionalisation provides a foundation to understand the context and detail of the international governance order as well as providing an understanding of the political, legal and social context in which constituent and constituted power holders interact. It may have to be accepted that international constitutionalisation may in fact not be or will never occur in the future. Yet, this in itself will better inform international law. Many of the theories behind international constitutionalisation could be improved by tackling the hard questions posed by constitutionalism.

Last modified:13 March 2020 12.58 a.m.
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