Normativity, Self-Constitutionalisation and the Public Sphere
Modern law requires democratic legitimation, but developing this in post-conventional terms rests on the presumption of increasing the processes of incrementally rationalising lifeworlds. In other words, the requirement of democratic legitimation associated with modern law is tailored for well-educated citizens. This presents one of the greatest challenges that democratic polities face in the twenty-first century, namely, how to guarantee equal opportunities to realise equal rights for democratic education and hence for participation in constructing self-reflexive societies1. Thus, the chief concern of this book is to discuss a democratic legitimation for modern law. I attempt to explore the problem following primarily Jürgen Habermas, in the sense that I understand this issue in terms of the co-originality of the rule of law and the principium of popular sovereignty. That directs my investigations towards current debates with regard to processes of European integration which raise issues concerning the self-constitutionalisation of a democratic polity and the concept of the self-reflexive polity2. The concept of self-constitutionalisation refers basically to processes and procedures of legitimating, enacting and applying fundamental principles, that is, basic rights (constitutional norms), and other provisions by those who are both the authors and addressees of these legal regulations. Self-reflexivity refers to a discursive learning which is a transformative and thus open-ended process of self-determination of the consonants of the democratic polity which therefore involves questions concerning the self-understanding of the consonants constituted by this process.
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My principal thesis, which I discuss in the...
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