‘Transformative Constitutionalism’ and the Borderlines of Liberalism
The project is interested in the socioeconomic visions that guide societal transformations towards justice and equality in the global South. The aim is to analyse non-liberal conceptualisations of social transformation and their relationships to the liberal script, with a particular focus on India.
More specifically, the project looks at “transformative constitutionalism”, which is a social-science concept reflecting two major aspirations within a country:
1. the transformation of unequal into equal societies and
2. the shift from paternalistic structures of power to a culture of justification of power.
This concept serves as the framework in subsequent comparisons to the liberal script, including such contrasting distinctions as illiberal and non-liberal governance, the latter of which can still be seen as compatible with the liberal script while the former cannot. A non-liberal script can be characterized by:
1. a strong emphasis on collective rather than individual rights,
2. a strong emphasis on the transformative agency of the state and
3. the prevalence of references to non-Christian religious traditions as a source of moral reasoning.
Within this framework, particular emphasis is on a key question of justice and equality: How do societies in the global South envision a fair dealing with property issues?