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The Counterfactual Yardstick

Normativity, Self-Constitutionalisation and the Public Sphere


Karolina Cern

The chief concern of this book is to discuss a democratic legitimation for modern law. Investigation is therefore steered towards current debates on processes of Europeanisation and the issue of self-constitutionalisation of a democratic polity. This turns out to be a complex concept referring to the threefold constitutionalisation: legal, institutional and horizontal, and hence to processes of evolutionary constitution making as well as institutional and societal constitutionalisation. Developing democratic legitimation in post-conventional terms rests on the presumption of increasing the processes of incrementally rationalising lifeworlds and unveils the role of the practical power of judgement transferred from the concept of a (monological) subject to the (dialogical-discursive) public spheres.
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I have been fortunate to receive significant support and assistance from outstanding people as well as institutions during the last several years that I have spent working on this book. I could not have completed this without the grant The Role of the Principle of Mutual Recognition and Institutional Morality in Justifying and (Re)Distributing of Human Rights, funded by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (2010–2012). The project was initiated by my fruitful scientific cooperation with Bartosz Wojciechowski and later on with Marek Zirk-Sadowski. This inspiring cooperation resulted in several jointly organised international conferences, co-written articles and (co-)edited volumes. Therefore, I thank all involved in the project heartily for the years of collaboration.

The above scientific cooperation evolved and resulted in the establishment of the Center for the Theory and Philosophy of Law (CENHER) at the University of Lodz. On this occasion, special thanks go to the two of the members of its Scientific Board José Manuel Aroso Linhares and Georg Lohmann, with whom I had many interesting, inspiring discussions held in a very friendly atmosphere.

I am also indebted to many people who made important contributions to crystallizing my standpoint on the problem of the democratic legitimation of law, in particular in regard to the European Union, or who helped me in my research in organisational terms. I am particularly grateful to Tadeusz Buksiński, the former Director of the Department of Philosophy, and Ewa Nowak, the Head...

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