Finnemore and Sikkink’s norms life cycle model (NLCM) is a powerful heuristic device that continues to be a mandatory point of reference for theoretical and empirical scholarship on norm change. Yet the internalisation stage as conceptualised in the NLCM is problematic. Drawing from Wiener’s Theory of Contestation, this article proposes to reconceptualise the norm internalisation stage as the phase at the extreme of the norm cascade in which inherently contested norms simultaneously enjoy formal validity, social recognition, and cultural validation among stakeholders. While Finnemore and Sikkink emphasise habit and institutionalisation as mechanisms of internalisation, the proposed conceptualisation highlights the role of applicatory contestation under conditions of high contestedness. My conceptualisation explicitly incorporates norm regression as the fourth stage of the NLCM. Norms might regress because they become obsolete, they change, or they are replaced.
In our 2018 Editorial, we highlighted a paradox within global constitutionalism. Even while then-President Trump was publicly undermining foundational norms of constitutionalism through his ‘breaching experiment’, these attacks were simultaneously fortifying such constitutional norms. Conspicuous attacks reinforce the importance of shared civic norms that underpin constitutional democracy. Citizens and leaders responded to Trump’s attacks by stiffening their resolve to protect and entrench the values of democracy. Where the public assaults upon such norms are extraordinarily blatant (as Trump’s assaults were), it may lead to especially robust counter-mobilisation. While the Trump presidency illustrates the ease with which a public office holder can violate liberal democratic norms, the backlash against Trumpism also demonstrates how robust the commitment is to norms of global constitutionalism.
This Paper, presented by one of the founding editors of GlobCon, will consider how both the field of global constitutionalism and the journal GlobCon have developed in the past decade. It will focus both on methodological and substantive changes in the field as well as the way more diverse perspectives are presented (and how they can achieve further beneficial presence).
There will be a particular focus in this paper on how global constitutionalism as a field has been, and can continue to be, decolonized, thus both developments at the forefront of the discipline and engaging with a normatively unsettling legacy. This will draw on the latest editorial in GlobCon.
This article examines the path of global constitutionalism and its encounter with cultural diversity in Africa. As constitutionalism in Africa is configured within a biosphere of global constitutionalism and cultural diversity, their dynamic interplay leads to the emergence of jurisgenerative constitutionalism, which is procedurally and normatively open to accommodate a plural conception of rights, justice and values. As a result, what is constitutionally permissible cannot simply be determined by an attachment to either global constitutionalism or cultural diversity. Rather, it is the interaction of global constitutionalism and cultural diversity in time and place that dictates what the constitutional practice or outcome should look like. By taking the women’s rights jurisprudence related to customary and Islamic laws and the phenomenon of Shariacracy as themes of analysis, and Nigeria as a case study, this article explores the emergence of jurisgenerative constitutionalism.