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Constitutional Symbolism in the Shadow of the Common Good

journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-27, 02:52 authored by George DukeGeorge Duke
Abstract This paper aims to clarify the concept of the symbolic constitution and to explain one of its most significant functions: the representation of political unity in complex societies. Section B briefly outlines the concept of the symbolic constitution which informs the arguments of the paper. The next two sections proceed “hermeneutically” through critical engagements with (i) Martin Loughlin’s recent analysis of the symbolic constitution within an ideology-critique of neo-liberal constitutionalism (ii) Niklas Luhmann’s account of the role of symbolic constitutionalism in concealing the function of the modern constitution as a structural coupling between the political and legal sub-systems. Section E then considers the relationship between the symbolic constitution and an alternative “traditional” concept for the representation of political unity: the common good. I argue that the symbolic constitution is both (i) a placeholder which speaks to the abiding relevance of the common good (ii) a symptom of the decline of its preconditions.

History

Journal

German Law Journal

Pagination

1-18

Location

Cambridge, Eng.

ISSN

2071-8322

eISSN

2071-8322

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

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