Why We (Still) Need a Revolution

14 German Law Journal (November, 2013)

27 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2013

See all articles by Marco Goldoni

Marco Goldoni

University of Glasgow - Faculty of Law & Financial Studies

Chris McCorkindale

University of Strathclyde Law School

Date Written: May 1, 2013


Co-authored by Marco Goldoni (University of Glasgow) and Christopher McCorkindale (University of Strathclyde), this paper posits a (very British!) call to arms, and does so in five steps. In part A we address the need for constitutional fictions by which the many surrender political power to the few, in the same of stability, order and security. In part B, however, we seek to show that conflict is both a necessary and core principle of political constitutionalism – that it is the latent possibility of conflict, the (re)awkening of the many where the few abuse that power, that acts as the final check on government. In part C, we trace the steps by which recent re-interpretations of the work of J.A.G. Griffith – with a focus on the work of Tomkins and Bellamy – have reduced politics to its parliamentary form, thereby closing (rather than “enlarging”) the “areas for argument and discussion” (a narrow view of the constitution to which, admittedly, Griffith himself might have subscribed) and in so doing closing off the very possibility of a constitutional conflict between the rulers and the ruled out outwith existing institutional channels. In part D, we will assess the limits of such a narrow reading of the political and argue that a more dynamic and reflexive approach is needed if we are to remain in (or recover to) rude constitutional health. Finally, in part E, we will use the political and constitutional background to the devolution of legislative and executive power to Scotland in order to demonstrate the power of political conflict, in extraordinary moments, to expose, break down and create new constitutional fictions.

Suggested Citation

Goldoni, Marco and McCorkindale, Christopher, Why We (Still) Need a Revolution (May 1, 2013). 14 German Law Journal (November, 2013), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2280187

Marco Goldoni

University of Glasgow - Faculty of Law & Financial Studies ( email )

Glasgow, Scotland
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/law/staff/marcogoldoni/#tabs=0

Christopher McCorkindale (Contact Author)

University of Strathclyde Law School ( email )

Graham Hills Building
50 George Street
Glasgow, G1 1QE
United Kingdom

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