Constitutional Rights after Globalisation
Constitutional Rights after Globalisation juxtaposes the globalization of the economy and the worldwide spread of constitutional charters of rights. The shift of political authority to powerful economic actors entailed by neo-liberal globalization challenges the traditional state-centered focus of constitutional law. Contemporary debate has responded to this challenge in normative terms, whether by reinterpreting rights or redirecting their ends, e.g. to reach private actors. However, globalization undermines the liberal legalist epistemology on which these approaches rest, by positing the existence of multiple sites of legal production, (e.g. multinational corporations) beyond the state. This dynamic, between globalization and legal pluralism on one side, and rights constitutionalism on the other, provides the context for addressing the question of rights constitutionalism's counterhegemonic potential. The competing liberal and 'new' politics of definition (the latter highlighting how neoliberal values and institutions constrain political action) are contrasted to show how each advances different agenda. A comparative survey of constitutionalism's engagement with private power shows that conceiving of constitutions in the predominant liberal, legalist mode has broadly favored hegemonic interests.
Publication Date: 5/18/2005