2019 | 26 | 2 |
Article title

Democracy in Constituent Moments: Exploring the Spanish Constitutional Debate of 1931 through Political Theory and Conceptual History

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This paper aims to answer the question of why constituent moments are relevant to political theory. It hypothesises the Spanish constitutional debate of 1931 as a case of conceptual innovation in parliamentary politics by arguing that debates in constituent moments entail a special kind of parliamentary argumentation when new political regimes are established. There, all sorts of theoretical, normative, historical, and institutional aspects are discussed to deliberate on the future character and functioning of a political regime. From a methodological point of view, this analysis draws on the revision of arguments and political terms used by MPs during the Spanish constituent assembly of 1931. The first part of the article emphasises the potentiality of constitutional debates for political theory and conceptual history, the two following chapters contextualise the historical and intellectual keys of 1931 Spain, the fourth and final part briefly explains two cases of conceptual controversy around the terms “state” and “sovereignty”. Based on the evidence provided by this study, the article concludes that the Spanish constitutional debate of 1931 is a fertile case to explore conceptual innovation of interwar legal and political theory.
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