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  • Cited by 16
  • Edited by Ron Levy, Australian National University, Canberra, Hoi Kong, McGill University, Montréal, Graeme Orr, University of Queensland, Jeff King, University College London
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
April 2018
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:

Book description

Deliberative democratic theory emphasises the importance of informed and reflective discussion and persuasion in political decision-making. The theory has important implications for constitutionalism - and vice versa - as constitutional laws increasingly shape and constrain political decisions. The full range of these implications has not been explored in the political and constitutional literatures to date. This unique Handbook establishes the parameters of the field of deliberative constitutionalism, which bridges deliberative democracy with constitutional theory and practice. Drawing on contributions from world-leading authors, this volume will serve as the international reference point on deliberation as a foundational value in constitutional law, and will be an indispensable resource for scholars, students and practitioners interested in the vital and complex links between democratic deliberation and constitutionalism.


‘This Handbook offers a comprehensive exploration of the implications of the 'deliberative turn' in legal and political philosophy for the theory and practice of constitutionalism. It investigates not only how deliberation can enhance constitution-making but also, and more innovatively and importantly, how it can improve the everyday working of constitutional systems. Deliberation thereby becomes an important goal of constitutional design. The focus on deliberation also serves to close the gap that is sometimes thought to exist between constitutionalism and democracy. As the authors show, democracy and constitutional law can mutually reinforce their respective deliberative qualities, increasing the legitimacy and justification of each.'

Richard Bellamy - Director of the Max Weber Programme, European University Institute, Florence and University College London

‘The chapters in this book are timely and collectively offer a theoretically rich, empirically informed and normatively compelling alternative to a prime threat to liberal democracy today: populist constitutionalism.'

Simone Chambers - University of California

‘Should constitutional change require a more deliberative kind of law-making? Is that what might make ‘higher law-making' higher? This handbook offers an excellent compendium of the competing perspectives in this current debate. Anyone interested in the deliberative democracy of constitutions should read this book.'

James Fishkin - Janet M. Peck Professor of International Communication, Stanford University, California, and author of Democracy When the People Are Thinking

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