By Denis J. Galligan, Mila Versteeg
This quantity analyses the social and political forces that impression constitutions and the method of structure making. It combines theoretical views at the social and political foundations of constitutions with various specific case stories of structure making in nineteen varied international locations. within the first a part of the amount, major students examine and strengthen a number theoretical views, together with constitutions as coordination units, challenge statements, contracts, items of family energy play, transnational records, and as mirrored image of the need of the folk. within the moment a part of the quantity, those theories are tested via in-depth case experiences of the social and political foundations of constitutions in international locations similar to Egypt, Nigeria, Japan, Romania, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Israel, Argentina, and others. the result's a multidimensional examine of constitutions as social phenomena and their interplay with different social phenomena. The strategy combines social technology research of the character of constitutions with case reviews of chosen constitutions.
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Additional info for Social and Political Foundations of Constitutions
One of the primary goals of any constitution, after all, is to create, channel, and monitor power. Constitutions provide an ideal platform for “locking in certain contested worldviews, policy preferences, institutional structures, while precluding the consideration of alternative perspectives” (Hirschl 2013: 166). The writing of the constitution of the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan, a process that is still unfolding, is a classic case. As Kevin Cope explains in his essay, constitutionmaking in South Sudan was characterized by a “my turn to eat” attitude, in which political groups tried to create institutions that would best serve their interests once the constitution were functioning.
When they are governed well, neither seek nor want any other freedom” (Machiavelli, quoted in Rahe 2008: 51). The people are just as likely to have no clear reasons beyond being part of a society whose culture includes the constitutional order and its shared acceptance. David Hume long ago pondered how “this wonder is effected” and went on to express his surprise, and that of all who “consider human affairs with a philosophical eye,” at “the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers” (Hume 2008: 24).
And an international Zeitgeist favourable to social rights, all combined to form an ideological environment that was incompatible with the tenets of a ‘minimal state’ and ‘economic liberalism’” (Magalhaes 2013: 449). Thus, as Magelheas shows, Portuguese national values and identity, albeit mixed with emerging international norms, are expressed not only in mission-statement-like preambles but are also the basis for substantive standards of social rights. Likewise, as Phoebe King demonstrates in her essay, the recent neo-Bolivarian constitutions in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador not only contain radical statements of values in their preambles but also adopt a catalogue of rights that reflect popular preferences and are directed at remedying past injustice.