|Event Name||Abstract Constitutionalism|
|Start Date||30th May 2012 12:30pm|
Macquarie University India Research Centre presents a research seminar on "Abstract Constitutionalism" by Prof Ujjwal Kumar Singh, Rajiv Gandhi Chair Professor in Contemporary Indian Studies at UTS.
Location: Building W6A, Room 708
Constitutionalism is generally understood as a set of normative principles and ideological contexts, which provide the organizational framework for structures of governance and modes of exercise and legitimation of power; on the other hand, constitutionalism also lays down the terms of belonging of those who constitute the political community, which is not always determined by the structures of governance but often constitutes a political space where power may be contested, and notions of rights, justice, and belonging may be reconstituted. While post-colonial constitutions are generally seen as having continuities with former structures of colonial rule, they are also seen as texts embodying "insurgent" and "transformative" constitutionalism, marking a rupture from the principles of governance, which marked colonial practices of rule. This paper, while identifying the two contradictory practices and idioms in the Indian constitution, will attempt to present the manner in which constitutionalism in India, has by and large unfolded as a critique of the dominant forms of social power, and has therefore provided a site where social and political contests have played out. Yet, this critique has been uneven, and interspersed with moments where sustenance rather than dismantling of power becomes the dominant concern.
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