Book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human now published

About the book:

‘In both Europe and North America it can be argued that the associational and institutional dimensions of the right to freedom of religion or belief are increasingly coming under pressure. This book demonstrates why a more classical understanding of the idea of a liberal democracy can allow for greater respect for the right to freedom of religion or belief.

The book examines the major direction in which liberal democracy has developed over the last fifty years and contends that this is not the most legitimate type of liberal democracy for religiously divided societies. Drawing on theoretical developments in the field of transnational constitutionalism, Hans-Martien ten Napel argues that redirecting the concept and practice of liberal democracy toward the more classical notion of limited, constitutional government, with a considerable degree of autonomy for civil society organizations would allow greater religious pluralism. The book shows how, in a postsecular and multicultural context, modern sources of constitutionalism and democracy, supplemented by premodern, transcendental legitimation, continue to provide the best means of legitimating Western constitutional and political orders.’

For the source, and more information also on how to order the book, see: Routledge.com or Amazon.com.

See also: Interview on project on ‘Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom’.

Article ‘Combining Efficiency and Transparancy in Legislative Processes’ in Issue 3 of The Theory and Practice of Legislation (2015)

Theory and Practice of Legislation

The abstract of the article, co-authored with Wim Voermans and Reijer Passchier, reads as follows:

‘In this contribution, we will illustrate the modern-day dynamics of the interplay between the need for expedience and efficiency on the one hand, and the demand for openness, inclusiveness and transparency on the other by looking into one of government’s main decision-making processes: the legislative process. Particularly in the field of legislation, the balancing of both efficiency and transparency is of the essence for modern legislatures in parliamentary democracies: laws expressed by acts and legislative instruments can only be truly effective if they rest on broad societal support. As we will argue, a transparent and inclusive legislative process functions as a kind of democratic check on government action: it guarantees sufficient deliberative activity before a government may act. Throughout our contribution, a 2012 comparative study commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, and carried out by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Leiden University will be used as a guiding rail to illustrate some the ways in which different jurisdictions in Europe have managed to combine, or at least balance, the need for legislative efficiency and transparency. We will use this study to demonstrate how traditional legislative processes nowadays grapple to translate the will of the citizens into effective legislation, how modern administrations still need democratically underpinned legislative procedures as the basis for the legitimation of (their) decisions, how efficient delivery of decisions and careful (lengthy) scrutiny interact. On the basis of this material we will further discuss concepts of, respectively, efficiency and transparency and especially the way modern legislatures examined in the study use information and communication technology (ICT) to overcome the sometimes opposing demands on their legislative processes. Insofar as possible we will try to highlight a few ‘best practices’ that show how legislative processes can (and cannot) adapt to new present day demands.’

For access options of the full article, see:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/20508840.2015.1133398.

About the journal:

‘The  Theory and Practice of Legislation aims to offer an international and interdisciplinary forum for the examination of legislation. The focus of the journal, which succeeds the former title  Legisprudence, remains with legislation in its broadest sense. Legislation is seen as both process and product, reflection of theoretical assumptions and a skill. The journal addresses formal legislation, and its alternatives (such as covenants, regulation by non-state actors etc.).

The editors welcome articles on systematic (as opposed to historical) issues, including drafting techniques, the introduction of open standards, evidence-based drafting, pre- and post-legislative scrutiny for effectiveness and efficiency, the utility and necessity of codification, IT in legislation, the legitimacy of legislation in view of fundamental principles and rights, law and language, and the link between legislator and judge. Comparative and interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged. But dogmatic descriptions of positive law are outside the scope of the journal. The journal offers a combination of themed issues and general issues.
All articles are submitted to double blind review.’

Blogpost on Legitimation in a Post-Secular Age

foto_federalist_papers_1-260x160

 

Could it be the case that the modern type of legitimation, complemented by a touch of pre-modern legitimation, suffices in a post-secular context as well?

Read the full blogpost here: http://leidenlawblog.nl/articles/three-types-of-legitimation#.VJLnaAWXfpQ.link.