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When is a convention not a convention?
Philip Norton

The formal provisions of a constitution, enshrined in legally enforceable form, are necessary, but they are not sufficient to ensure the smooth running of the state. They need some lubricant to work efficiently. They rely for this on conventions and practices. Constitutional conventions, as we noted in Chapter 1 , are ubiquitous. ‘They can be found in all constitutions.’ 1 The meaning of conventions is contested. The most useful and authoritative definition is that they are rules of behaviour that have no legal force, but which are deemed to be binding on

in Governing Britain
Shivdeep Grewal

A critical social theory ought to provide a framework for empirical research, argues Habermas – it is not enough to inspire ‘speculative observations’ (Habermas, 1995 : 382). With this in mind, the present chapter assesses data from a series of interviews conducted in 2002 against the background of the Constitutional Convention. 1 This is intended as a preliminary test of the accounts of social and cultural modernity elaborated thus far. Habermas’s conception of the EU would be called into question if the

in Habermas and European integration
Shivdeep Grewal

8 The conceptual landscape of the Constitutional Convention A critical social theory ought to provide a framework for empirical research, argues Habermas – it is not enough to inspire ‘speculative observations’ (Habermas, 1995: 382). With this in mind, the present chapter assesses data from a series of interviews conducted in 2002 against the background of the Constitutional Convention.1 This is intended as a preliminary test of the accounts of social and cultural modernity elaborated thus far. Habermas’s conception of the EU would be called into question if the

in Habermas and European Integration (second edition)
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Author: Philip Norton

The book provides an analysis of the contemporary state of the British constitution, identifying ambiguities and the changing relationships at the heart of the constitution. It offers a succinct and accessible overview of the core features of how the UK is governed – the key principles and conventions underpinning the constitution and how they are under pressure. It is essential for anyone wanting to make sense of the UK constitution in a period of constitutional turbulence, not least following the referendum to leave the European Union, three general elections in five years, major judgments by the UK supreme court, governments suffering major defeats in the House of Commons, and pressure for more referendums, including on Scottish independence and on remaining in the European Union. Each chapter draws out a core feature of the constitution, not least a relationship between different organs of the state, and offers an explanation of its shape and operation and the extent to which it is changing. It examines the key principles underpinning the UK constitution, the extent to which they are contested, and how political behaviour is shaped by convention.

Social and cultural modernity beyond the nation-state
Author: Shivdeep Grewal

From its conception to the referenda of 2005 where it met its end, German philosopher Jürgen Habermas wrote in support of the European Constitution. This book is the first in-depth account of his project. Emphasis is placed on the conception of the European Union (EU) that informed his political prescriptions. This study engages with Habermas's thought as a totality, though attention is focussed on themes such as communicative rationality that began to surface in the 1970s. The first part of the book considers the unfolding of 'social modernity' at the level of the EU. Among the subjects covered are Habermas's concept of juridification, the latter's affinities with integration theories such as neofunctionalism and the application of Habermas's democratic theory to the EU. The second part addresses 'cultural modernity' in Europe - 'Europessimism' is argued to be a subset of the broader cultural pessimism that has assailed the project of modernity in recent decades with renewed intensity in the wake of 9/11. The final section looks at the conceptual landscape of the Constitutional Convention. The groundbreaking work of E. O. Eriksen, E. F. Fossum and others provides the most developed Habermasian account of the EU to date. Juridification is put forward as a metatheory of social modernity, and existing approaches from the corpus of European integration theory are drawn. Recent political theory confronts scholars of European integration with difficult questions. The social democrats who were interviewed had the opposite combination of opinions.

Sonja Tiernan

7 Preparing for a revolution The 1937 Irish Constitution ‘reflected the aspirations for our country as they were in the 1930s which was a time when one church had a special place when women were second class citizens and homosexuality was a criminal offence, a time when Europe was at the brink of a second war of a generation’.1 These words formed the key focus of Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s address to delegates at the inaugural meeting of the Constitutional Convention. The convention was established to ensure ‘participative democracy’ in considering changes to the

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland
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An unfinished project?
Shivdeep Grewal

critical of specifics, he acknowledges the importance of Habermas’s postnational turn, suggesting lines along which philosophical discussions of the EU and globalisation might be conducted in future. At a lower level of abstraction, social modernity can be examined in relation to specific historical conjunctures or policy contexts. With reference to the former, this study has centred on the era of the Constitutional Convention, which, for example, frames the discussion of the Lijst Pim Fortuyn undertaken in chapter four

in Habermas and European integration
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Sarah Campbell

constitutional convention, the theme was very much ‘let them sort it out themselves’. A number of options were considered by Britain in the months after the strike, including withdrawal.4 194 Gerry Fitt and the SDLP The Ulster Workers’ strike demonstrated to loyalists the power of their veto, and they were disinclined to consider forms of power-sharing as a system of government. This was a particularly severe blow to the SDLP, as they had based their party policy and strategy on powersharing with an Irish dimension and it had been categorically rejected by unionists. The

in Gerry Fitt and the SDLP
Aaron Edwards

The conclusion that many of us reached, certainly by the 1970s, was that the only conceivable way in which viable labour politics could be developed here was by getting the British Labour Party to organise here; either by absorbing the NILP or simply disbanding it and replacing it. 1 Introduction: the Constitutional Convention election It was an unfortunate fact of political life that for the third consecutive election the NILP presented a disunited front to the electorate. It was at

in A history of the Northern Ireland Labour Party
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Modernity, welfare state and Eutopia
Shivdeep Grewal

Fortuyn, whose ascent and subsequent assassination coincided with the Constitutional Convention. The concluding section of chapter 7 shifts to Habermas’s discussion with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2004. Habermas’s engagement with Catholic thought is argued for as commensurate with his earlier his championing of modernity and European integration, rather than as signifying a retreat from these processes. Chapter 8 uses concepts derived from the accounts of social and cultural modernity to analyse empirical data collected against

in Habermas and European integration