Constitutional Mobilization and Contestation in the Transnational Sphere

21 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2018

See all articles by Paul Blokker

Paul Blokker

Charles University in Prague

Date Written: July 2018


The debate on the constitutionalization of European and transnational law pays little attention to the role of civil society and social movements. While civil society involvement in private litigation increasingly receives attention, the critical, counter‐democratic role of transnational movements in a broader, public sense, is largely ignored. The significance of democratic claim making, public demands, and contestation, and the normative dimensions as well as constitutional implications of such engagement, are insufficiently explored. This article discusses the theoretical and analytical dimensions of legal and constitutional mobilization and explores different forms of civil society action before considering a plurality of legal rationalities as articulated in public claims, as well as the issue of counter‐hegemonic struggle. Then, it develops a political‐sociological approach, which, in the final part, is used in a case‐study of the water rights campaign, exploring the different types of legal mobilization involved (including the European Citizens’ Initiative) and a variety of normative claims being endorsed.

Suggested Citation

Blokker, Paul, Constitutional Mobilization and Contestation in the Transnational Sphere (July 2018). Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 45, pp. S52-S72, 2018. Available at SSRN: or

Paul Blokker (Contact Author)

Charles University in Prague ( email )

Celetná 13
Praha 1, 116 36
Czech Republic

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