Constitutional Referendums: The Theory and Practice of Republican Deliberation

Paperback | March 13, 2014

byStephen Tierney

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The use of referendums around the world has grown remarkably in the past thirty years and, in particular, referendums are today deployed more than ever in the settlement of constitutional questions, even in countries with little or no tradition of direct democracy. This is the first book by aconstitutional theorist to address the implications of this development for constitutional democracy in a globalizing age, when many of the older certainties surrounding sovereignty and constitutional authority are coming under scrutiny.The book identifies four substantive constitutional processes where the referendum is regularly used today: the founding of new states; the creation or amendment of constitutions; the establishment of complex new models of sub-state autonomy, particularly in multinational states; and the transfer ofsovereign powers from European states to the European Union. The book, as a study in constitutional theory, addresses the challenges this phenomenon poses not only for particular constitutional orders, which are typically structured around a representative model of democracy, but for constitutionaltheory more broadly.The main theoretical focus of the book is the relationship between the referendum and democracy. It addresses the standard criticisms which the referendum is subjected to by democratic theorists and deploys both civic republican theory and the recent turn in deliberative democracy to ask whether bygood process-design the constitutional referendum is capable of facilitating the engagement of citizens in deliberative acts of constitution-making. With the referendum firmly established as a fixture of contemporary constitutionalism, the book addresses the key question for constitutional theoristsand practitioners of how might its operation be made more democratic in age of constitutional transformation.

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From the Publisher

The use of referendums around the world has grown remarkably in the past thirty years and, in particular, referendums are today deployed more than ever in the settlement of constitutional questions, even in countries with little or no tradition of direct democracy. This is the first book by aconstitutional theorist to address the impli...

Stephen Tierney is Professor of Constitutional Theory at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh and Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law. He received a British Academy Senior Research Fellowship for the project upon which this book is based. He has published seven other books including Constitutional Law and Nat...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:375 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:March 13, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198713967

ISBN - 13:9780198713968

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Beyond Representation: Constitutional Referendums and Deliberative Democracy3. Framing 'the People': Constitutional Referendums and the Demos Question4. Elite Control and the Referendum Process5. Control and Constitutional Referendums: Internal Sovereignty6. Control and Constitutional Referendums: External Influences7. Participation in Constitutional Referendums8. Framing the Substantive Issue in Constitutional Referendums9. Referendums and Constitutional Decision-Making10. Conclusions

Editorial Reviews

"Given that CR are an ever-growing global phenomenon, the book is timely. It is also well informed and persuasive." --Inigo Gonzalez-Ricoy, Political Studies Review