Global Constitutionalism, the political, Agamben, Schmitt
The article argues that no understanding of global constitutionalism will be complete without a thorough discussion of its political dimension. The current state of scholarship on global constitutionalism is dominated by discussions of legal elements. However, any theory of global constitutionalism has an underlying vision of the political. Without discussing this underlying vision of the political global constitutionalism will remain incomplete. In particular the article demonstrates that the contemporary debates on global constitutionalism are plagued by a contradiction between its aims and its underlying vision of the political. Thus, global constitutionalism postulates individuals as central units of its concern. However, by maintaining states as central actors although in a changed form and with fewer powers global constitutionalism unwittingly subscribes to a vision of the political anchored in the state form and based on the exclusion/inclusion dynamic. This vision of the political is most clearly articulated by Carl Schmitt. The discussion of his view of the political demonstrates that the political based on the state form makes the project of global constitutionalism impossible. The only way forward is an open discussion of different visions of the political and a search for a more adequate vision of the political able to further the aims of global constitutionalism and its focus on individuals. The article discusses one of these alternative visions of the political, namely the concept of the coming politics and coming community as articulated by Giorgio Agamben. It demonstrates how with this vision of the political the project of global constitutionalism can conceive of a political community fully dedicated to the singularities of each individual human being without creating divisions. The article concludes that in order for global constitutionalism to continue as a viable project, an open and explicit discussion of the political is called for.