Rethinking Constitutionalism in the 21st Century

[Book Review] The Twilight of Constitutionalism?
Edited by Petra Dobner and Martin Loughlin
Published in 2012
xvi and 352 pages
Oxford University Press
Rs. 1064

In this book “The Twilight of Constitutionalism?”, many perspectives are elucidated particularly when constitution meets globalisation. There should have reconfiguration in regard of constitutional law studies in which constitutional law has been proliferated, which is not merely dealing within a domestic jurisdiction, and globalisation commingles to constitutional law. In other words, there is the intersection between constitutional law and international law.


The very heart of this book is about constitutionalisation, at the first it deals with either positivisation or juridification. Ya, they are somewhat new terms we read and heard. Constitutionalisation starts from the definition of what constitutionalism is, followed by the classification of constitution, constitutionalism, and constitutionalisation.

Constitutionalisation, then, is elaborated with the phenomena at the WTO and the EU, due to developing a lex specialis, which alter the nature of organisation’s task from just cooperation to vertical governance having constitutional function. Such constitutionalisation, especially at the EU, is done through the process of integration having a form of liberal-legal constitutionalism allied to market freedoms.

The tension between national and supranational authorities brings us aspect of supranational constitutionalisation. It shifts paradigm of the modern era of nation-state constitutionalism to twenty-first constitutionalism, overshadowed by the banner of multi-level constitutionalism. (Some contents in my thesis deal with this regard).

In conclusion, the process of constitutionalisation brings reconfiguration of constitutional values. In one part, it emerges the multi-level constitutionalism with a loosening of the relation between constitutionalism and nation-state. In other parts, multi-level constitutionalism borns new governances either supranational or transnational and restructures governances between national and supranational or transnational authorities.

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