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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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‘We are (afraid of) the people’: Constituent Power in German Constitutionalism

‘We are (afraid of) the people’: Constituent Power in German Constitutionalism

(p.87) 5 ‘We are (afraid of) the people’: Constituent Power in German Constitutionalism
The Paradox of Constitutionalism

Christoph Möllers

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the special path of constitutional development in Germany. It shows how developments from the Kaiserreich, through Weimar to the Nazi regime has rendered any attempt to make a direct appeal to the people, or even to the authority of a representative parliament, problematic. It indicates how the highly legalistic constitutional culture that evolved in the post-war Federal Republic was a product of conscious efforts to eliminate any claim to populism in the constitutional settlement imposed by the Allies, and suggests that the appeal to an especially formal notion of ‘constitutional patriotism’ has its basis in that history.

Keywords:   constitutional development in Germany, Kaiserreich, Weimar Republic, Nazi regime, Federal Republic of Germany, populism, constitutional patriotism

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