Reassessing Social Movements’ Position and Normative Force in Constitutional Settings


  • André Nunes Chaib Maastricht University, Faculty of Law


The present article examines the new position of social movements in constitutional settings. It argues that social movements – both structured and unstructured – have rearranged themselves both normatively and spatially to create new means to influence law and politics. The article sketches out new forms in which social movements have understood their ways of organizing and the possibilities for advancing legal and political change in constitutional settings. Using Judith Butler’s theory of assemblage and Bruno Latour’s concept of terrestriality, the article examines how social movements read constitutional settings, such as domestic constitutional apparatuses and international institutions, to advance their political and legal agendas. The article does not limit itself to a pure public law perspective but also incorporates insights from public international law.