Constitutionalism in the Context of Popular Sovereignty and National Sovereignty Theories

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ISTANBUL HUKUK MECMUASI, vol.79, no.2, pp.599-635, 2021 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 79 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/mecmua.2021.79.2.0099
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)
  • Page Numbers: pp.599-635
  • Keywords: Constitutionalism, Sovereignty theories, National sovereignty, Popular sovereignty, Limitation of the power
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


This article aims to bring a new perspective to constitutionalism in the context of sovereignty theories. Constitutionalism is based on an idea that aims to limit power; however, this limitation must be within the state as constitutionalism does not include external limitations. The theory of theocratic sovereignty, which posits that the source of sovereignty comes from God, is incompatible with constitutionalism. Indeed, the more widely the source of sovereignty is, the more restricted power is. In this respect, constitutionalism is closely related to the theory of national sovereignty, which is based on the concept of nation as including the past and future. According to the theory of national sovereignty, power is far from the source of sovereignty; thus, the idea of limiting power, which is the aim of constitutionalism, is realized in a healthy way. The aim of constitutionalism can be considered as limiting the power of the majority and securing the rights of individuals against it. In this respect, the theory of popular sovereignty, which is based on the people and regards the general will of the majority as supreme, is incompatible with the idea of constitutionalism.