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Editorial: Evolving Norms of Constitutionalism

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Constitutionalism offers an academically constructed framework that allows us to assess processes of constitutional change in their respective societal contexts. This article offers insights into different perspectives within the debate over ‘European’ constitutionalism and their potential consequences. It makes the point for a societal approach to assess the emergence and role of both, constitutional and sociocultural norms, pointing to the key role of social practices in this process. It proposes an approach to constitutionalism which elaborates on a shift of analytical focus from the ‘type of polity’ towards ‘social practices’ as key to evolving, interpreting, and implementing norms. It is argued that this choice of perspective matters. It has implications for subsequent moves including the selection of case studies and methodology. The distinct analytical choices are presented as four positions of constitutional choice.

Document Type: Editorial


Affiliations: Queen's University Belfast

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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