Constitutional Change and Popular Sovereignty: Populism, Politics and the Law in Ireland




ISBN: 9781032007595
Published: January 2023
Publisher: Routledge
Format: Paperback 

This collection focuses on the particular nexus of popular sovereignty and constitutional change, and the implications of the recent surge in populism for systems where constitutional change is directly decided upon by the people via referendum.

It examines different conceptions of sovereignty as expressed in constitutional theory and case law, including an in-depth exploration of the manner in which the concept of popular sovereignty finds expression both in constitutional provisions on referendums and in court decisions concerning referendum processes. While comparative references are made to a number of jurisdictions, the primary focus of the collection is on the experience in Ireland, which has had a lengthy experience of referendums on constitutional change and of legal, political and cultural practices that have emerged in association with these referendums. At a time when populist pressures on constitutional change are to the fore in many countries, this detailed examination of where the Irish experience sits in a comparative context has an important contribution to make to debates in law and political science.

Irish Law
Part 1: Sovereignty
Maria Cahill, "Introduction: The Reign of Popular Sovereignty in Ireland – An antidote to populism?"
Laura Cahillane, "The Origins of Popular Sovereignty in Ireland: Theory and Reality"
Michael Kearney, "Self-Determination & the Irish Constitutional Framework"
Eoin Daly, "'Conceptualising popular sovereignty in the Irish constitutional order"
Raphael Girard, "Populism, 'The People' and Popular Sovereignty"
Clara Hurley, "The Relational State: Does the Primacy of Popular Sovereignty Prevent a Feminist Understanding of State Sovereignty?"

Part 2: Referendums and Constitutional Change
Conor O’Mahony, "Introduction to Part 2: Expressing Popular Sovereignty through Constitutional Referendums"
Gavin Barrett, "Modalities and Political Practices Concerning Referendums in Ireland: Some Observations"
Jennifer Kavanagh, "Is the current mechanism for challenging a referendum result suitable for purpose?"
Hilary Hogan, "Democratic Constitutionalism or Elite Control? Revisiting the 2004 Irish Citizenship Referendum"
David Kenny, "The Risks of Referendums: ‘Referendum culture’ in Ireland as a solution?"
Oran Doyle and Rachael Walsh, "Constitutional Disagreement, Deliberation and Reform: A Counter-Narrative on the Irish Citizens’ Assembly"
Alex Layden, "Informal Constitutional Change and Local Government in Ireland"
Colin Harvey, "Popular Sovereignty, Irish Reunification and Change on the Island of Ireland"

Colm Ó Cinnéide, "Conclusion: Irish Popular Sovereignty in Domestic and Comparative Perspective"

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