A Sociology of Constitutional Claims-Making: Transnational Movements and the Re-Imagination of the Common

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 15:00
Location: Hörsaal 16 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Paul BLOKKER, Charles University, Czech Republic
The paper focusses on legal and constitutional mobilization by transnational social movements. In this, it explores bottom up constitutionalism beyond the state context. Constitutions are relevant on the transnational level in that a variety of social actors actively uses constitutional concepts, conceptions, and language to describe and act in a transnational reality of constitutional ‘law-in-the-making’. But while there is widespread attention for the formal-legal dimension in the formation of post-national constitutional regimes, the transnational social-civic dimension of post-national constitutionalism is relatively unexamined. The paper proposes to investigate a transnational social-civic dimension by focusing on the role of transnational movements in using a constitutionalist language and making constitutional claims. Forms of constitutionalism ‘from below’ shed light on new, alternative constitutional imaginaries, including different ways of imagining the common. Such claims have become more evident since the financial and economic crisis. The paper will take a pluralistic perspective on constitutions and discuss a significant variety of movements. The paper will particularly discuss the Commons as well as the democratic movements.