Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Constituent power and independence processes: problems and perspectives in the light of the Catalan experience

Andrea Romano


This paper focuses on the potential reconfiguration of constituent power in the context of multinational States. It takes the view that sub-state claims pose relevant challenges to the traditional vision of constituent power as a unitary and monolithic essence. This seems all the more topical in Spain, where the Spanish Constitutional Court adheres to a unitary conception of constituent power. By contrast, our research has looked at whether
and to what extent it is possible to accept that such a unitary vision of constituent power may be challenged with the emergence of new social forces calling into question the ultimate allocation of competence. The so-called sovereignty process in Catalonia invites constitutional
scholars to engage in this debate, particularly in the light of the last unilateral referendum on independence from Spain that took place on 1st October 2017. Whereas the referendum has often been framed within the so-called theory of the right to decide, we ask whether it is possible to understand it instead as an expression of an emerging constituent power.

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