Constitutional patriotism

Breda, Vito (2017) Constitutional patriotism. In: Encyclopedia of the philosophy of law and social philosophy. Springer Science+Business Media, Netherlands. ISBN 978-94-007-6730-0

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Constitutional patriotism is a political theory that seeks to provide an explanation for the sense of ownership that most individuals have towards their national constitutional system. Specifically, constitutional patriotism assumes that free-thinking individuals involved in a discussion over the common good will reach an agreement that is perceived, at least by those involved in the debate, as having normative value. The awareness that such a deliberative process has historically been a part of the constitutional system also induces a sense of ownership of past historical accommodations of constitutional principles. The shared perception of being part of historically grounded institutions within a deliberative democracy is sometimes called the ‘normative surplus effect’ or ‘normative spill-over effect’ of the deliberative process. The theory, in its current form, was proposed by Jürgen Habermas and Jean-Werner Müller.
Debates over the common good might take place informally or within the state’s institutions. Pell-mell informal debates, with few exceptions, have a limited effect on amending constitutional norms. Yet, the prerogative to openly discuss laws and policies legitimised by constitutional norms is normally sufficient to develop an inner sense of belonging to a constitutional system. Deliberative debates within public institutions (e.g. parliaments and courts) are more likely to change the functioning of a constitutional system, but they are, by way of comparison to informal political discussions, normally constrained by the system of rules that regulate representative democracy and the administration of justice. Thus, the theory of constitutional patriotism provides an explanatory model for the historical development of a democratic constitutional system.
As one of the most persuasive explanatory theories of modern pluralist democracy, constitutional patriotism has attracted a series of well-articulated critiques. It has been suggested, for instance, that constitutional patriotism might not provide a plausible model of social integration for international organisations such as the European Union (EU). In this essay, I will provide an overview of the theory and a selection of its critiques.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. This encyclopedia covers all topics in the philosophy of law and social philosophy, including the history, theory, and leading theorists of the philosophy of law and social philosophy. Featuring specially commissioned entries by an international team of the world's best scholars, including 2000-plus entries ensuring its place as the definitive reference work on the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy for the foreseeable future. The encyclopedia provides: 1) a clear concise expert definition and explanation of the key concepts in the field, written by leading scholars; 2) an essential reference for experts and newcomers alike, with entries ranging from short definitions of key terms to extended explorations of major topics; 3) an investigation of questions that have traditionally defined the field, but also more recent developments, significantly updating the fields of the philosophy of law and social philosophy; 4) introductions to theories and research that have developed globally.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice (1 Jul 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2017 02:32
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2018 02:41
Uncontrolled Keywords: constitutional patriotism, Habermas, Muller
Fields of Research (2008): 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180199 Law not elsewhere classified
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180108 Constitutional Law
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1899 Other Law and Legal Studies > 189999 Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields > 220204 History and Philosophy of Law and Justice
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940499 Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies
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