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Unstable Constitutionalism
Law and Politics in South Asia

Part of Comparative Constitutional Law and Policy

Mark Tushnet, Madhav Khosla, Sujit Choudhry, Mara Malagodi, Mahendra Lawoti, Mohammad Waseem, Osama Siddique, M. Jashim Ali Chowdhury, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Ridwanul Hoque, Rohan Edrisinha, Asanga Welikala, Sudhir Krishnaswamy
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  • Date Published: February 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107644564


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About the Authors
  • Although the field of constitutional law has become increasingly comparative in recent years, its geographic focus has remained limited. South Asia, despite being the site of the world's largest democracy and a vibrant if turbulent constitutionalism, is one of the important neglected regions within the field. This book remedies this lack of attention by providing a detailed examination of constitutional law and practice in five South Asian countries: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Identifying a common theme of volatile change, it develops the concept of 'unstable constitutionalism', studying the sources of instability alongside reactions and responses to it. By highlighting unique theoretical and practical questions in an underrepresented region, Unstable Constitutionalism constitutes an important step toward truly global constitutional scholarship.

    • Broadens comparative legal scholarship by focusing on a typically overlooked region
    • Offers detailed studies of constitutionalism in five South Asian countries
    • Will be of interest to legal and South Asian studies scholars
    • Shifts the focus of scholarship from rights towards the role of institutions in society
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In the final analysis, Unstable Constitutionalism marks an important contribution to the burgeoning constitutional discourse on consequential courts, and the invaluable role they can and must play even in authoritarian regimes. For this reason alone, this volume should be on the must-read list of every comparative constitutional law scholar in the twenty-first century.' Po Jen Yap, International Journal of Constitutional Law

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107644564
    • length: 414 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 151 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction:
    1. Unstable constitutionalism Mark Tushnet and Madhav Khosla
    2. How to do constitutional law and politics in South Asia Sujit Choudhry
    Part II. Forms and Sources of Instability:
    3. The locus of sovereign authority in Nepal Mara Malagodi
    4. Representation, regime, and resistance in Nepal Mahendra Lawoti
    5. Constitutionalism and extra-constitutionalism in Pakistan Mohammad Waseem
    6. The judicialization of politics in Pakistan: the Supreme Court after the lawyers' movement Osama Siddique
    7. Elections in 'democratic' Bangladesh M. Jashim Ali Chowdhury
    Part III. Reactions and Responses to Instability:
    8. The Indian Supreme Court and the art of democratic positioning Pratap Bhanu Mehta
    9. The judicialization of politics in Bangladesh: pragmatism, legitimacy, and consequences Ridwanul Hoque
    10. Debating federalism in Sri Lanka and Nepal Rohan Edrisinha
    11. Constitutional form and reform in post-war Sri Lanka: towards a plurinational understanding Asanga Welikala
    12. Constitutional federalism in the Indian Supreme Court Sudhir Krishnaswamy.

  • Editors

    Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School, Massachusetts
    Mark Tushnet is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. His important works in the field of comparative constitutional law include Advanced Introduction to Comparative Constitutional Law (2014), The Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law (co-edited, 2012) and the leading handbook, Weak Courts, Strong Rights: Judicial Review and Social Welfare Rights in Comparative Constitutional Law (2009).

    Madhav Khosla, Harvard University, Massachusetts
    Madhav Khosla is currently a PhD candidate at the Department of Government at Harvard University, Massachusetts. He is the author of The Indian Constitution (2012) and is currently co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Indian Constitutional Law.


    Mark Tushnet, Madhav Khosla, Sujit Choudhry, Mara Malagodi, Mahendra Lawoti, Mohammad Waseem, Osama Siddique, M. Jashim Ali Chowdhury, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Ridwanul Hoque, Rohan Edrisinha, Asanga Welikala, Sudhir Krishnaswamy

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