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Constitutionalism in Fragmented Societies: the Integrative Function of Liberal Constitutionalism and Its Challenges

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Chapter Summary

In retrospection the founding era of modern constitutionalism appears to be at the same time its golden age. In Europe the birth of the nation through constitutionalism had to be accomplished by the emerging urban, commercial and industrial classes against the absolutist state's claim to exercise unrestricted control over all manifestations of social life within its territory. Limited government was the battle cry of the rising socio-economic class, the bourgeosie. Nordic countries have long been regarded as being the most homogeneous societies in terms of religion, ethnicity, and socio-economic conditions and at the same time enjoying the most peaceful and stable political systems. This suggests the hypothesis that social equality and ethnic homogeneity are the most reliable warranty of peace, order and the functioning of the constitutional state.

Keywords:ethnic homogeneity; Europe; liberal constitutionalism; Nordic countries; social equality

10.1163/ej.9789004163485.i-164.24
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