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The Constitutional Imaginary: Shared Meanings in Constitutional Practice and Implications for Constitutional Theory / Alex Latham-Gambi

ICL Journal, Volume: 15, Issue: 1, Pages: 21 - 51

Swansea University Author: Alex Latham-Gambi

  • Accepted Manuscript under embargo until: 12th March 2022

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DOI (Published version): 10.1515/icl-2021-0001

Abstract

In this article I seek to defend three main claims. Firstly, that the kinds of practices that are the object of study of constitutional theorists are undergirded by certain fundamental shared understandings. Secondly, that these shared understandings together form a rich fabric of meaning that is, b...

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Published in: ICL Journal
ISSN: 2306-3734 1995-5855
Published: Berlin Walter de Gruyter GmbH 2021
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa56086
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Abstract: In this article I seek to defend three main claims. Firstly, that the kinds of practices that are the object of study of constitutional theorists are undergirded by certain fundamental shared understandings. Secondly, that these shared understandings together form a rich fabric of meaning that is, broadly speaking, held in common across modern western societies, which I call the ‘constitutional imaginary’. Thirdly, that political institutions play a symbolic role as ‘repositories’ of shared understandings, which is crucial for the development, maintenance, propagation and evolution of the constitutional imaginary. On the basis of these claims I propose a distinctive role for constitutional theory: the interpretation of the social meaning of political institutions and the actions and events that take place in and around them.
Keywords: constitutional theory, interpretation, political institutions, social imaginary, symbolism
College: Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law
Issue: 1
Start Page: 21
End Page: 51