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Political Constitutionalism and Legal Constitutionalism—an Imaginary Opposition?

Alex Latham-Gambi Orcid Logo

Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Volume: 40, Issue: 4, Pages: 737 - 763

Swansea University Author: Alex Latham-Gambi Orcid Logo

  • Accepted Manuscript under embargo until: 25th October 2022

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DOI (Published version): 10.1093/ojls/gqaa046

Abstract

This article argues that the opposition between political and legal constitutionalism can be traced to a cleavage in what philosophers have called the ‘social imaginary’: the shared understandings that underpin social life. Since social imaginary understandings are by their nature nebulous and ill-d...

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Published in: Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
ISSN: 0143-6503 1464-3820
Published: Oxford Oxford University Press (OUP) 2020
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa55327
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first_indexed 2020-10-05T13:36:31Z
last_indexed 2021-01-01T04:18:46Z
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spelling 2020-12-31T15:38:39.4454914 v2 55327 2020-10-05 Political Constitutionalism and Legal Constitutionalism—an Imaginary Opposition? 8eb08f11c93bec9bc50e6622f644e5b6 0000-0001-6217-7432 Alex Latham-Gambi Alex Latham-Gambi true false 2020-10-05 LAWD This article argues that the opposition between political and legal constitutionalism can be traced to a cleavage in what philosophers have called the ‘social imaginary’: the shared understandings that underpin social life. Since social imaginary understandings are by their nature nebulous and ill-defined, political and legal constitutionalism should not be thought of as competing theories or heuristic models, but – more abstractly – contrasting ways of imagining the political world. Drawing on historical and contemporary examples, I argue that my claim is supported by the way in which legal constitutionalism embedded itself as the governing idea in the US and in France, and also by the failure of the ‘new Commonwealth model of constitutionalism’ to yield a genuinely distinctive alternative to political and legal constitutionalism. Journal Article Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 40 4 737 763 Oxford University Press (OUP) Oxford 0143-6503 1464-3820 political constitutionalism; legal constitutionalism; social imaginary; US Supreme Court; French Constitutional Council; new Commonwealth model of constitutionalism 21 12 2020 2020-12-21 10.1093/ojls/gqaa046 COLLEGE NANME Law COLLEGE CODE LAWD Swansea University 2020-12-31T15:38:39.4454914 2020-10-05T14:25:25.9638982 Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law Legal Studies Alex Latham-Gambi 0000-0001-6217-7432 1 Under embargo Under embargo 2020-10-06T16:25:10.7493803 Output 309290 application/pdf Accepted Manuscript true 2022-10-25T00:00:00.0000000 true eng
title Political Constitutionalism and Legal Constitutionalism—an Imaginary Opposition?
spellingShingle Political Constitutionalism and Legal Constitutionalism—an Imaginary Opposition?
Alex Latham-Gambi
title_short Political Constitutionalism and Legal Constitutionalism—an Imaginary Opposition?
title_full Political Constitutionalism and Legal Constitutionalism—an Imaginary Opposition?
title_fullStr Political Constitutionalism and Legal Constitutionalism—an Imaginary Opposition?
title_full_unstemmed Political Constitutionalism and Legal Constitutionalism—an Imaginary Opposition?
title_sort Political Constitutionalism and Legal Constitutionalism—an Imaginary Opposition?
author_id_str_mv 8eb08f11c93bec9bc50e6622f644e5b6
author_id_fullname_str_mv 8eb08f11c93bec9bc50e6622f644e5b6_***_Alex Latham-Gambi
author Alex Latham-Gambi
author2 Alex Latham-Gambi
format Journal article
container_title Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
container_volume 40
container_issue 4
container_start_page 737
publishDate 2020
institution Swansea University
issn 0143-6503
1464-3820
doi_str_mv 10.1093/ojls/gqaa046
publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
college_str Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law
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hierarchy_top_title Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law
hierarchy_parent_id hillaryrodhamclintonschooloflaw
hierarchy_parent_title Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law
department_str Legal Studies{{{_:::_}}}Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law{{{_:::_}}}Legal Studies
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description This article argues that the opposition between political and legal constitutionalism can be traced to a cleavage in what philosophers have called the ‘social imaginary’: the shared understandings that underpin social life. Since social imaginary understandings are by their nature nebulous and ill-defined, political and legal constitutionalism should not be thought of as competing theories or heuristic models, but – more abstractly – contrasting ways of imagining the political world. Drawing on historical and contemporary examples, I argue that my claim is supported by the way in which legal constitutionalism embedded itself as the governing idea in the US and in France, and also by the failure of the ‘new Commonwealth model of constitutionalism’ to yield a genuinely distinctive alternative to political and legal constitutionalism.
published_date 2020-12-21T04:10:20Z
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