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In defence of Staatslehre

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This paper seeks to make a contribution to contemporary debates on multi-level government, transnational constitutionalism, and the emergence of international constitutional ordering. It does so by arguing, contrary to many of the proponents of these theories, that it is mistaken to assume that the concepts of state theory can be easily jettisoned or somehow transcended. In this paper, the key concepts of sovereignty, state and constitution are reworked, and an account of the modern concept of public law provided. This account, it is suggested, provides a frame through which the errors and limitations of proponents of multi-level constitutionalism can be assessed, and the critical issues that such transnational developments raise more accurately identified.

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