The Constituent Power in a National and in a Transnational Context

3(1) Transnational Legal Theory pp. 31-60 (2012)

U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-35

45 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2012 Last revised: 17 Dec 2012

Alexander Somek

University of Iowa - College of Law

Date Written: November 1, 2012

Abstract

This paper attempts to make sense of Abbé Sieyès’ classical conception of the nation as the constituent power underlying a constitutional system. It then goes on to explore whether it is possible to conceive of such a power under trans- or post-national conditions. What, if anything, might be the power constituting transnational sites of authority, which are by definition not linked to a particular people? The answer to this question requires a modified understanding of collective self-determination. It will be seen, however, that ‘constituting’ does not amount to the same thing in a national and in a transnational context.

Keywords: constitution, popular sovereignty, transnational authority, nation, action, Arendt, Sieyes, revolution

Suggested Citation

Somek, Alexander, The Constituent Power in a National and in a Transnational Context (November 1, 2012). 3(1) Transnational Legal Theory pp. 31-60 (2012); U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-35. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2172054

Alexander Somek (Contact Author)

University of Iowa - College of Law ( email )

Melrose and Byington
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

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