Sovereignty and National Constitutions

23 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2021

See all articles by David L. Sloss

David L. Sloss

Santa Clara University - School of Law

Date Written: May 30, 2021


According to the sovereigntist model of constitutional law, the constitution of any particular country is an expression of that country’s national identity. Under this view, France’s Constitution is an expression of French national identity, Chile’s constitution is an expression of Chilean national identity, and so on. This essay demonstrates that the sovereigntist model is descriptively inaccurate. In fact, the national constitutions of most countries in the world bear striking similarities to each other because those constitutions are products of transnational forces that shape the processes of drafting and interpreting constitutions. Sovereigntists may object to the influence of transnational forces, but they cannot block the dissemination of ideas across national borders any more than they can block the transmission of a virus across national borders. Any attempt to do so is doomed to fail.

Keywords: Constitutions, Sovereignty, transnational, constitution drafting, constitutional interpretation

JEL Classification: K19, K30, K40

Suggested Citation

Sloss, David L., Sovereignty and National Constitutions (May 30, 2021). University of St. Thomas Law Journal, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2021, Available at SSRN:

David L. Sloss (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University - School of Law ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States

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