1st Edition

Constituent Power Beyond the State
Democratic Agency in Polycentric Polities

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 31, 2021
ISBN 9781032118321
December 31, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
208 Pages

USD $44.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The concept of constituent power plays a major part in modern political and legal theory— in how we think about the political. This book tackles the twofold issue of public authority and public autonomy in the modern conception of the political by analysing the notion of constituent power, its function in the modern political apparatus, and debates about its meaning and function in our own context.

Focusing on contemporary debates on constitutionalism "beyond" the state, Geneviève Nootens assesses the prospects for recasting the notion of constituent power in a polycentric setting that challenges state sovereignty as embodying the autonomy of the political. In doing so, she argues that constituent power belongs with the conceptual apparatus of a theory of government peculiar to a statist way of knowing, and being into, the world, and that it is too much dependent upon the statist framework for it to have critical purchase on new mappings of public authority. Nootens stresses the critical need to frame public authority appropriately if we are to conceptualize a conception of collective political agency that can sustain public autonomy in the current era.

Constituent Power Beyond the State will be of interest to students and scholars of political theory, democratic theory, law, and constitutionalism.

Table of Contents


1. The concept of constituent power

2. Constituent power and the modern state

3. A reconfiguration of public authority?

4. Translating constituent power on a supranational or global scal

5. A post-constituent order?

6. Constituent power and "narratives of protest"

7. A new narrative of public authority?

View More



Geneviève Nootens is Full Professor of Political Science at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Canada. Her research is mainly concerned with the redeployment of democratic practices and the diffusion of sovereignty; majority and minority nationalism; and plurinational societies.