Constituent Power and European Constitutionalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter discusses the role of constituent power in European constitutionalism in two senses, and in two perspectives. First, it addresses the classical theory of constituent power, and it examines the linkage between this doctrine and processes of constitution making in national polities in Europe. Second, it addresses the more distinctive application of this doctrine in recent patterns of constitutional formation, focused in particular on the interaction between national polities and the European Union (EU). The theory of constituent power is broadly conceived as a doctrine of governmental legitimacy, which states that a political system can only legitimately perform its core functions if it reflects founding decisions of a sovereign people, and if the exercise of political power is constrained by constitutional norms established in such decisions. In the UK, the idea that accession to the EU somehow undermined a long-standing tradition of consensual national self-legislation is very pervasive and often declared as a simple political fact.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook on Constitutional Change
EditorsXenophon Contiades, Alkmene Fotiadou
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781351020985
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Constituent Power and European Constitutionalism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this