The ‘Gänseliesel’ (Goose Girlis), a historical fountain erected in 1901, represents the most well-known landmark of the city of Goettingen.

Constitutionalism as a Cipher: On the Convergence of Constitutionalist and Pluralist Approaches to the Globalization of Law

Lars Viellechner



Global constitutionalism still remains an essentially contested concept. While both its descriptive and normative usages remain unclear, the possibility and the desirability of framing the postnational constellation in constitutionalist terms meet equally strong objection. Yet, recently, even pluralist approaches to the globalization of law which call for a more radical departure from the statist legacy explicitly or implicitly refer to the notion of constitutionalism. Animated by democratic concerns for the inclusion of all those concerned by a rule as well as legal certainty and equality, they envisage a new kind of conflicts law that allows for a mutual recognition and reconciliation of the different legal orders and regimes emerging in world society. Hence, constitutionalism, when employed in a global context, appears but as a reminiscence of an historical achievement. It serves as a cipher under which the reconstruction of law under conditions of globalization has begun and will continue until more adequate concepts will be discovered.


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