Semantic Constitutionalism at the Fin De Siècle: What If Constitutional Ordering is Simply a Reflection of Constitutional Episteme?
Transnational Legal Theory, 2013 (Forthcoming)
33 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2013
Date Written: August 1, 2013
Facing the post-Cold War new situation, the underpinnings of our epistemic framework for constitutional ordering are being contested. Against this intellectual backdrop, Gunther Teubner’s ‘societal constitutionalism’, which he elaborates in 'Constitutional Fragments: Societal Constitutionalism and Globalization', stands out from the numerous reworked conceptions of Constitution, all of which aim to account for the new political and socio-economic world in the global era in constitutional terms. This essay aims to put Teubner’s epistemic innovation in constitutional theory in perspective, suggesting that his version of global constitutionalism reminisces a semantic constitutionalism as his envisaged world order comprising ‘constitutional fragments’ is dis-embedded from political, discursive communities of self-determination. With functional autonomisation in the place of political self-determination, Teubner’s constitutional wonderland appears to be steeped in an endless process of constitutionalisation without the Constitution as we know it, raising the question of whether we can build a political ordering simply on a constitutional episteme.
Keywords: constitutionalisation, societal constitutionalism, global constitutionalism, Gunther Teubner, semantic constitutionalism, constitutional semantics, constitutional sociology, global governance, world society, constitutional episteme, Karl Loewenstein
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