Citizenship and Constitutional Law: Reflections on a Complex Relationship


Citizenship and Constitutional Law: Reflections on a Complex Relationship

Room 538 (Moot Court)

Parkville campus

185 Pelham Street

Booking not required

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Melbourne Law School

In this special Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies (CCCS) seminar, Professor Jo Shaw (University of Edinburgh) will discuss the complex relationship between citizenship and constitutional law.

At first blush, it would seem that constitutional law, with its concerns for fundamental issues such as democracy and legitimacy, including the concepts of constituent power, patriotism and allegiance, would comfortably co-exist with citizenship, understood as both a legal and a political construct. In practice, given the varieties of constitutional approaches to citizenship, including many states that do not specifically deal with citizenship at the constitutional level, not to mention the varieties of citizenship regime within the liberal democratic world, it is hard to discern clear patterns and themes in relation to state practice.

Using examples largely drawn from liberal democratic constitutions, but highlighting also trends in some states (including in the European Union) towards authoritarian illiberal democratic practices including extensive constitutional amendments, Jo Shaw will highlight some of the principal tensions that arise when states make and unmake citizens, in particular in the light of global trends of transnational and multilevel citizenship, which curtail the sovereign capacities of states to set the boundaries of the citzenry.

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