Local, Global, and Plural Constitutionalism: Europe Meets the World
University of Michigan Law School
THE WORLDS OF EUROPEAN CONSTITUTIONALISM, G. De Búrca and J.H.H. Weiler, Eds., Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming
U of Michigan Public Law Working Paper No. 176
The dilemma of constitutionalism in the age of global governance has elicited two dominant responses - one local and one global. On the one hand, those alarmed by the threat of global institutions of governance have sounded retreat into local constitutionalism as the only source of legitimate public power. On the other hand, a group of enthusiasts privilege the global realm of governance as overcoming the inherent limitations of local constitutionalism.
After setting out these opposing views, this essay charts a middle course by joining constitutionalism and pluralism into an alternative to the purported choice between the local and the global. The essay then turns to the European Union, which figures prominently in this debate as perhaps the most advanced institutional embodiment of taking constitutionalism beyond the state. As the European Union matures, the question arises, which of these three approaches will it embrace in its own dealings with the world beyond its borders: local, global, or plural constitutionalism?
Number of Pages in PDF File: 39
Keywords: European Union, External Relations, Global Governance, Constitutional Law, Constitutionalism, Pluralism
JEL Classification: K33
Date posted: December 13, 2009 ; Last revised: December 17, 2009