Social groups: Constitutional Law’s Missing Link

The International Society of Public Law (ICON) was founded, as Armin von Bogdandy would later summarize it, to promote more comparative, interdisciplinary, and theoretical approaches to constitutional law. Nearly twenty years later, it seems safe to conclude that it has realized this goal to a large extent. The recent volume on Constitutional Democracy in Crisis? is convincing proof of this development. However, as the same volume demonstrates, something is still missing, that was not explicitly part of the founding ideals of ICON. In the proposed paper, I will argue that the latter ‘something’ is the academic pursuit of what the Tradition calls the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. It is obviously beyond the scope of this paper to define what the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in constitutional law could stand for in 2020. It will, however, be argued that somehow social groups form part of that definition.