Drawing on the author’s own experience as a constitutional advisor in the South Pacific island of Tuvalu, this paper examines an important but overlooked element of the civic-republican constitutionalism: its concern for civic virtue. The first part of the paper advances a theoretical argument to show that in the civic republican understanding, a constitution does not merely regulate institutions of government, but is also an instrument of ethical community building. The second part relates this to constitution-building practice, showing how Tuvalu’s recent constitutional review tried to declare and protect civic virtues by: (1) the establishment of a national religion; (2) the constitutional recognition of a Charter of Values and Responsibilities with scope to limit rights; and (3) a requirement of ‘active participation in community life’ as a precondition for being eligible to vote. These are all antithetical to liberal constitutional values, but not to civic republican ones.
Our 2020 Annual Conference was scheduled to be held at the University of Wrocław in Poland on July 9-11, 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICON·S Executive Committee has decided to postpone our 2020 Conference to 2021. Our next Annual Conference will take place from July 8-10, 2021, in Wrocław, Poland.
Procedural details regarding the organization of the 2021 Conference will follow in the months ahead.Join ICON•S