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Modern Constitutionalism in the Globalizing World: A Case for Theoretical Re-Orientation

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Delhi, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 4, Issue (9), Pages 52-55, September,14 (2015)


Modern constitutionalism as emerged with the American experience, spreading across the world, is now facing challenges from globalizing forces. Given the increasing anachronism of the state-centric constitutionalism and the absence of any explicit global constitutionalism, we are left with two choices. Either we negotiate the terms of an explicit global constitutionalism or we must review and enlarge the existing modern idea of constitutionalism (based in states) in a way that it can address the loss of popular sovereignty in the contemporary globalized world on the one hand, and do not end up as a global constitutionalism on the other hand. In this Paper, I shall unpack the idea of modern constitutionalism to underscore the fundamental significance of the “sovereignty of the people” that distinguishes it from the ancient constitutionalism. First, I shall explicate how the integrating forces of globalization (proliferation of multiple international organizations like WTO, IMF and MNCs/TNCs,) conjures conceptual questions in the rubric of modern constitutionalism vis-a-vis its state-centric origins, in the sense of how the ‘sovereignty of the people’ symbolized by “we the people” is increasingly eaten up by the globalizing forces operating today. As a case study, I shall brief upon the way the welfare provisions of the Indian constitution are caught in the cobweb of globalization. As an empirical supplement to the conceptual analysis, I briefly discuss the recent Indian stand in the WTO with respect to the subsidies given to the farmers.


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