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LegitimacyThe State and Beyond$
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Wojciech Sadurski, Michael Sevel, and Kevin Walton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198825265

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198825265.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 July 2021

Who’s Afraid of Suprastate Constitutional Theory?

Who’s Afraid of Suprastate Constitutional Theory?

Two Reasons to be Sceptical of the Sceptics

(p.182) IX Who’s Afraid of Suprastate Constitutional Theory?

Cormac Mac Amhlaigh

Oxford University Press

This chapter is a reply to critics of attempts to ground the legitimacy of suprastate institutions in constitutionalism. More specifically, it responds to the objection that suprastate constitutionalism is idealistic due to the improbability of a demos beyond the state. Two points are made: first, the objection relies on a normative understanding of the idea of a demos that is itself potentially idealistic and, second, the objection assumes that idealism in normative theory is problematic, which might be doubted. The chapter concludes that we should be more sanguine about the contribution that constitutionalism in all its forms can make to addressing the challenges of legitimacy faced by contemporary suprastate law and governance.

Keywords:   legitimacy, suprastate institution, constitutionalism, demos, idealism, political philosophy

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