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Institutional commitments and democracy

  • Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca (a1)

Democracy, even if it is a system of self-government, rests on institutional commitments. An institutional commitment is a manipulation through rules of one's set of alternatives. I analyze the nature of institutional commitments in general and the role they play in a democracy. After drawing a distinction between committing to a rule and being committed by what a role establishes, three conclusions emerge: a) that representation is a functional commitment, b) that constitutions are commitments to rules, and c) that judicial review is not a commitment, but makes credible the commitments embodied in representation and constitutions.

Toute démocratie repose sur des engagements institutionnels, par où l'on entendra la canalisation des alternatives de l'action au travers des règles. Après avoir distingué l'engagement envers une règie et l'engagement comme obéissance à ce qu'une règie impose, trois conclusions se dégagent: a) la représentation est un engagement fonctionnel; b) les constitutions sont des engagements de règles; c) le contrôle judiciaire n'est pas un engagement mais rend crédible les engagements indus dans la représentation et les constitutions.

Die Demokratie stützt sich auf institutionnelle Vereinbarungen, die Alternativen über den Gesetzesweg regulieren. Ich analysiere die Art institutionneller Verpflichtungen allgemein, und die Rolle, die sie in Demokratien spielen. Im Anschluß an die Beschreibung des Unterschiedes zwischen einem Gesetz verpflichtet sein und sich einem Gesetz und seinen Auswirkungen verpflichten, lassen sich drei Schlußfolgerungen ziehen: a) die Vertretung ist eine amtliche Verpflichtung, b) Verfassungen entsprechen gesetzlichen Verpflichtungen und die gerichtliche Kontrolle ist keine Übertragung, sondern macht jene Verpflichtungen plausibel, die Vertretungen und Verfassungen eigen sind.

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European Journal of Sociology / Archives Européennes de Sociologie
  • ISSN: 0003-9756
  • EISSN: 1474-0583
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