Constitutionalism and Deliberative Democratic Representation: A Normative Theory of Constitutional Debates
Citizens are properly represented only insofar as politicians publicly debate and justify their decisions, especially when reforming the constitution. Otherwise, legislators may either subvert the norms granting them their competences, or lessen entrenched fundamental rights and liberties. Given the legal distinctiveness of constitutions, guarantees that politicians discuss and justify their constitutional decisions must be put in place for them to count as representative actions that the citizens may deem acceptable and legitimate. This project reconciles the weight and importance of constitutional norms with deliberative democracy’s demand for inclusiveness and proper discussion. It shall provide the first systematic and intertwined account of political representation, deliberative democracy, and constitutionalism. This project thus addresses two questions: First, how is deliberation related to political representation in constitutional cases. Innovatively, it will explore the hypothesis that constitutional norms approved by representatives without proper debate, should not count as suitable acts of political representation. Second, which deliberative standards should representatives meet when making constitutional law. This project shall offer procedural and evaluative standards to be met by representatives when discussing and justifying constitutional laws.