The Federation Press

Beyond the Republic

Meeting the Global Challenges to Constitutionalism


What challenges do Australian constitutional law, theory and practice each face now that globalisation - the unimpeded movement of people, money, information and ideas across national boundaries - is eroding the sovereignty of nation-states?

Other writers have studied globalisation, but as a political, economic, social or environmental rather than a constitutional phenomenon. Works on Australian constitutionalism tend to assume that the centuries-old tradition of national sovereignty will continue. This book systematically discusses both topics in tandem, and analyses how each affects the other.

Three key themes are reflected in the three parts in the book: Whither National Sovereignty, Constitutional Structures, and Individual and Minority Rights. The first discusses the decline of the “external” power of national governments relative to international organisations and NGOs. The second focusses on the declining “internal” power of national governments relative to legislatures, in particular Upper Houses, and to sub-national governments. The third charts the declining power of national governments relative to the citizens and minority communities they govern.

These themes and the way they are elaborated in the book are explained in the Introduction.


“Beyond the Republic ... collects 24 essays from a wide variety of contributors. ... There is not space here to discuss the essays in detail, or even to mention them all. That is unfortunate, because nearly all of them are worthy of comment.
They are organised into three main groups, the first of which concerns national sovereignty, globalisation and the benefits and future of democracy. The second is about constitutional theory and structure including the operation of our federal system and what is known as “Washminster” (in a graceless allusion to the English and American systems). A final section covers constitutional protection of individual and minority rights. There is much food for thought in each. ... I would recommend the book for anyone with a serious interest in current constitutional debate in Australia and overseas. Federation Press is to be commended for publishing it.” - Law Institute Journal (Vic), 2001

Table of Contents

Globalisation and Constitutionalism
Tom Round and Charles Sampford

Part I: W[h]ither National Sovereignty?

Reconceiving and Reinstitutionalising Liberal Democratic Values in a More Global World
Charles Sampford
The Decline of Sovereignty: Problems for Democratic Government
Sir Anthony Mason
The Empire Strikes Back: The Constitution, Sovereignty and 19th Century Globalisation
Helen Irving
The Changing Context of Australian Citizenship: The Case for Multiculturalism
Peter Wong and Violeta Brdaroska
The Constitution of International Civil Society
Aynsley Kellow
Democracy in a World of Global Markets
Tom Campbell
Democracy as Comparative Advantage
Roland Rich
Democracy: Its Survivability
Alun A Preece

Part II: Constitutional Theory and Structure

The Australian Constitution and the Challenge of Theory
John Williams
Dividing Power in a Federation in an Age of Globalisation
Cheryl Saunders
A Federation amid Global Imperatives?
Glyn Davis and Naomi Sunderland
The Role of Upper Houses: Is Westminster Washed Up?
Senator Helen Coonan
Washminster Revisited: The Role of the Upper House
Senator Andrew Bartlett
Government as a Public Trust: Crown Mystique, Unequal Laws, and Modern Democracy
Steven C Churches

Part III: Individuals, Minorities and Their Rights

Recognising Rights
Alice ES Tay
Constitutional Transformations: Universal Values and the Politics of Constitutional Understanding
Heinz Klug
Globalisation - the Bane of Popular Sovereignty?
John Pyke
Constitutional Cants
Gerald N Rosenberg
Law’s Laws: The Demand and Supply of Rights
Neil Komesar
Recognition of Indigenous Rights: American Law, Australian Law and International Law
Garth Nettheim
First Peoples, Late Admissions: Recognising Indigenous Rights
Peter Jull and Helena Kajlich
Recognising Indigenous Law in Australia: Drawing on the African Experience
Bede Harris
Rights of Indigenous People and Conservation: Joint Management of National Parks in South Africa and Australia
Bertus de Villiers
Constitutional Dreaming
Christine Morris


Appendix 1: Promotion of the Right to Democracy
Appendix 2: Items Proposed for Framework Agreement and Political Negotiations Process


Of interest...