Constitutional Imaginaries, Populism and European Democracy

This paper outlines a sociological perspective of constitutional imaginaries to comprehend the political appeal of authenticity claims and arguments in politics. It focuses on the imaginary of the public sphere and its constitution of the specific distinction between public opinion – the doxa and expert knowledge – the episteme and its impact on the imaginary of authenticity in constitutional democratic politics. Furthermore, it explores the imaginary of authenticity and its constitution of explosive communities in the context of Europeanisation and globalisation. Finally, it analyses the EU’s responses to the imaginaries of constitutional populism, especially European public spheres and demoi. It concludes by stating that transnational European constitutional imaginaries integrate elements of constitutional populism while preserving the European integration’s initial critique of the imaginary of nations living authentically and exclusively in their states.