Chiara d’Alessandro

A rigid constitution, is it a reformable text? Institutional reform, and in particular that of a thoroughgoing reform of the Italian Constitution, has long been a topic of discussion among the Italian public and scholars of law and politics, including the institutions themselves. There is a complex debate on the relationship between sovereignty and constituent power or to give account of the very widespread, and in some way even pervasive, belief held by many exponents of political and legal culture in Italy and beyond, that constitutionalism is above all a matter of fundamental rights. These beliefs substantially, as in the classic forms of constitutionalism, see in a constitution ‘the idea of a law that does not depend on even the strongest political power’ and precisely for this reason envisage the substantial autonomy of contingent political balancing forces. The current thinking on this question on the one hand evokes the (to some extent) reasonable ‘armouring’, of the fundamental core of the Constitution as a charter of the rights of individuals and groups while also deeming it necessary to resist the ‘lightness’ of the political class in solving the problems of reorganising the political system with the all-too-easy evocation of various kinds of constituent ‘powers’ and ‘stages’. This book analyses all these issues and more within the context of Italy and the whole of Europe.

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