All the world’s a stage (of popular sovereignty): Catalan referendum between the script, performance, and calculus

In their selective iconoclasm, those who have moved beyond a sovereign people have also neglected the unwritten scripts of constitutional change that accompany the vocabulary of popular sovereignty. Those are the scripts that Catalan sovereigntists, to their disappointment, tried to perform in an attempt to impress relevant spectators—the external actors for whom they believed had requisite goodwill and capacity to intensify the power of the Catalan people's constituent power. To affirm the ideals of popular sovereignty and self-determination in the context of secessionist crises, such as the one in Spain is to quietly presume the legitimacy of those scripts. In order critically reflect on those ideals it is high time we begin more openly scrutinizing the scripts that make them practically meaningful—and the discursive strategies they engender—beyond the prevailing conceptual preoccupations of modern and contemporary constitutional theory.