Constitutionalism and Global Governance

2 ECTS / 12h / English

This seminar looks at the recent exponential development of constitutional ideas and governance structures beyond the traditional confines of the nation state. Increasingly we find the development of constitution-like institutions, frameworks and principles, or at least an increased discussion of the prospect of such developments, in global (e.g. United Nations, WTO), supranational (e.g. the EU), and transnational private (e.g. internet regulation) settings. This reflects and tracks the broader movement of economic, political and cultural power from the state to the transnational and global level. However, the constitutionalization of global governance is a highly uneven, conflicted and controversial process. The seminar will examine the main controversies, including the absence of popular sovereignty and democratic institutions in transnational and global constitutions and governance contexts more generally, the significant empowerment of transnational judges and experts, the relationship between individual rights and transnational or global public goods, and the implications of the residual ‘pull’ of any constitutional analysis back to a state-centred Framework.


Neil Walker holds the Regius Chair of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations at the University of Edinburgh. His main area of expertise is…