Global Constitutionalism and the Idea of Progress

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Olena Sihvo
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Helsinki Law Review
Issue number: 1
Start page: 10
End page: 35
eISSN: 2489-687X


The article explores universal pertinence of global constitutionalism as a theory of international law in terms of its relation to progress. Whilst it is acknowledged that the language of progress may conceal imperial politics and idealistic assumptions, it is an inevitable element of any theory of international law seeking to resolve legal challenges of the twenty-first-century international legal order. Global constitutionalism is built on the idea of progress. By depicting international law as in the process of transition from decentralised and ad hoc system to a comprehensive ‘blueprint for social life’, global constitutionalism implies international law’s progressive nature with respect to the ‘pre-constitutionalised’ order. Yet, its narrative of progress is premised on assumptions that minimise exclusion, which makes international law truly universal.


Last updated on 2019-11-12 at 04:03