Theorising the Constitution
Constitutional theory forms a key research area, and it is around the concept of the Constitution, its function, its relation to politics and the economy, that a number of projects and research interests intersect. Amongst them, the discussion of how the Constitution gives form to the relation between constituent and constituted power, and to the relation between the public (forum) and the private (market); as to whether the Constitution can be usefully conceptualised at supranational levels (European, ‘cosmopolitan’, global); as sectional (economic, political, social constitutions); as incremental and dynamic (‘constitutionalisation’) or as plural (‘constitutional pluralism’).
Critical constitutional theory
The political dimension is key to an understanding of the Constitution that emerged historically as the legal institution for the containment, control, and channelling of political power, as it is key to the way in which legal theory understands its own role as critical theory, in terms of the concepts and distinctions it offers to make sense of the field of constitutional practice.
Law, Globalisation and Governance
The emphasis is on power structures operating at the global level, on the impact of markets and the nature of international legal regimes, on the scope, subjects and grounds of legal obligations in supra-national and international law, as well as on theories of global justice and cosmopolitan political ideals of mutual recognition.
Constitution, Work and the Political Economy
This project considers the possibilities for a critical theorisation of labour law. It asks, more specifically, whether the idea of the constitutionalisation of employment relations under changing global conditions can help us towards such a theorization; and, in addition, how we might make sense of the idea of ‘constitutionalisation’ in this context.
The ‘Material Constitution’ is a stream that reconstructs the idea of the ‘material constitution’ as a development, at the level of constitutional theory, of two schools of thought: on one hand, law and the political economy, on the other, the theory of normative orders. Its aim is to contribute to a nuanced and accurate understanding of State and supranational constitutions in the service of a critical approach.
This stream of research concentrates on the questions of how various orders of law at the national, supranational, transnational and global levels relate, interact and conflict and how we might theoretically address the resulting complexity and attendant normative challenges. These questions are asked both in their theoretical dimension but also with an eye to recovering a deeper practical interest in conditions of living together under relations of equality and community within, across and beyond nation-states, and critically to addressing the multiple failures of current structures of governance.