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Home > Catalogue > Social and Political Foundations of Constitutions
Social and Political Foundations of Constitutions


  • 2 b/w illus. 4 tables
  • Page extent: 694 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1.09 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 342
  • Dewey version: 23
  • LC Classification: K3165 .S66 2013
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Constitutional law--Social aspects
    • Constitutional law--Political aspects
    • Constitutions
    • LAW / Constitutional.--bisacsh

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9781107032880)

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This volume analyses the social and political forces that influence constitutions and the process of constitution making. It combines theoretical perspectives on the social and political foundations of constitutions with a range of detailed case studies from nineteen countries. In the first part leading scholars analyse and develop a range of theoretical perspectives, including constitutions as coordination devices, mission statements, contracts, products of domestic power play, transnational documents, and as reflection of the will of the people. In the second part these theories are examined through in-depth case studies of the social and political foundations of constitutions in countries such as Egypt, Nigeria, Japan, Romania, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Israel, Argentina and others. The result is a multidimensional study of constitutions as social phenomena and their interaction with other social phenomena.

• Includes constitutional systems that are not commonly studied in the comparative law literature (including Micronesia, Egypt, Nigeria and South Sudan) • Provides the most comprehensive study to date on the social and political foundations of constitutions from a global perspective • Combines different theoretical perspectives that are well recognised in the literature into one single volume


Part I. Introduction: 1. Theoretical perspectives on the social and political foundations of constitutions Denis Galligan and Mila Versteeg; Part II. Theoretical Perspectives: 2. Why a constitution? Russell Hardin; 3. Constitutions as mission statements Jeff King; 4. Transnational constitutions Benedikt Goderis and Mila Versteeg; 5. The people, the constitution, and the idea of representation Denis Galligan; 6. The strategic foundations of constitutions Ran Hirschl; 7. Constitutions as contract, constitutions as charter Tom Ginsburg; Part III. Case Studies: 8. Accidental constitutionalism: the political foundations and implications of constitution making in Israel Adam Shinar; 9. The myth of imposed constitutionalism in Japan David S. Law; 10. Social, political, and philosophical foundations of the Irish constitutional order Paul Brady; 11. South Sudan's dualistic constitution Kevin L. Cope; 12. New Zealand David Erdos; 13. The juristic republic of Iran Binesh Hass; 14. Neo-Bolivarian constitutional design: comparing the 1999 Venezuelan, 2008 Ecuadorian, and 2009 Bolivian constitutions Phoebe King; 15. The constitution as agreement to agree: the social and political foundations (and effects) of the 1971 Egyptian constitution Clark Lombardi; 16. Explaining the constitutionalization of social rights: Portuguese hypotheses and a cross national test Pedro Magalhães; 17. Popular constitution making: the case of Iceland Anne Meuwese; 18. Romania's transnational constitution: a tradition of elite learning and self-empowerment Christina Parau; 19. The social and political foundations of the Nigerian constitution Charles H. Parkinson; 20. The once and future democracy: Argentina at the bar of constitutionalism Miguel Schor; 21. A battle between law and society in Micronesia Brian Z. Tamanaha; 22. Constitutionalism of shallow foundations: the case of Bulgaria Daniel Smilov; 23. The shifting foundations of the European Union constitution Neil Walker.


Denis Galligan, Mila Versteeg, Russell Hardin, Jeff King, Benedikt Goderis, Ran Hirschl, Tom Ginsburg, Adam Shinar, David S. Law, Paul Brady, Kevin L. Cope, David Erdos, Binesh Hass, Phoebe King, Clark Lombardi, Pedro Magalhães, Anne Meuwese, Christina Parau, Charles H. Parkinson, Miguel Schor, Brian Z. Tamanaha, Daniel Smilov, Neil Walker

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