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The Paradox of ConstitutionalismConstituent Power and Constitutional Form$
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Martin Loughlin and Neil Walker

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199552207

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199552207.001.0001

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Constituent Power and the Pluralist Ethic

Constituent Power and the Pluralist Ethic

(p.291) 15 Constituent Power and the Pluralist Ethic
The Paradox of Constitutionalism

Damian Chalmers

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the question of the relationship between constitutionalism and the alternative political imaginaries of post-national formations, and offers a reconstruction of the idea of constituent power in the face of the diversification of political authority. Drawing on a case study of land reform in rural Brazil, it argues that although constituent power at the level of the nation state may have its dark side, it also retains an unparalleled potential for emancipation and for the energization of the political as an area of free and open contestation between different world-views.

Keywords:   legal pluralism, constitutionalism, constituent power, land reform, Brazil

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