Post-Liberal Constitutionalism and the Right to Effective Government
Notwithstanding the efforts that have been made to pluralize the concept, constitutionalism continues to be identified closely with, and for many remains synonymous with, classical liberal thought. The eighteenth-century notion that constitutionalism is mainly about restraining the Leviathan refuses to die. The continuing strength of the association between constitutionalism and this particular strain of liberalism does not preclude movement to a post-liberal (or post-neoliberal) understanding of constitutionalism. It does suggest, however, that post-liberal constitutionalism is more likely to stick if it assumes at least some of the trappings of old-school liberal constitutionalism. The best way to transform the language of liberal constitutionalism, in other words, is to speak some version of the language of liberal constitutionalism. This is why the idea of a “right to effective government” (hereinafter, REG) suggests itself as an ideal vehicle for this kind of evolutionary development: it appropriates elements of liberal constitutionalism and puts a decidedly post-liberal twist on them. The result looks reassuringly familiar yet is fundamentally different – a wolf in sheep’s clothing.