Constitutional Intent and Reflexive Identity

The paper attempts to show how constitutional intent and the reflexive character of constitutional identity are intertwined. The first section explains the notion of constituent power as the ultimate source of a legal order. The second section explores the triple singularity of constituent power. First, it has a reflexive identity which means that “it relates to itself as the one who acts and who is ultimately at stake in such acts”. Secondly, it expresses a set of existential commitments which carve out the constitutional identity. Thirdly, the reflexive identity cannot be determined once and for all in its foundational moment, so political unity has a dynamic structure. The third section employs social ontology to understand how the notion of constitutional intent comes up. Applying Tuomela and Gilbert’s approaches, it argues that the collective agent constitutes itself as a plural agent by means of We-intentions, which, in turn, are expressed through joint commitments.