What is a republican conception of constituent power?

Stream: Panel 18 - Political Theory: Constituent Power
Date: Monday, 26 September 2016
Time: 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm

Abstract

In this paper I shall try to sketch the minimal requirements of a republican conception of constituent power. I shall contrast this conception to that of Schmitt's theory of constituent power as representative of a monarchic conception. The minimal requirements of a republican conception of constituent power require that this conception address three paradoxes of current political science: the paradox of constitutionalism, the paradox of democracy, and lastly the paradox of representation. I shall argue that a proper republican conception of constituent power addresses the first paradox through a correct distinction between will and reason as foundation of law; it addresses the second paradox through an adequate account of power and the distinction between democracy as a form of government and the power of the people; it addresses the last paradox through a new theory of representation. This paper shall concentrate on how a republican conception of constituent power addresses the paradox of democracy.

Author

Miguel Vatter (Presenter), UNSW
Professor of Politics, School of Social Sciences, UNSW