Designing Democracy

Author: Cass R. Sunstein
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780195158403
Format: PDF, Mobi
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All democracies face intense political conflict, but is this conflict necessarily something to fear? In this provocative book, one of our leading political and legal theorists reveals how a nation's divisions of conviction and belief can be used to safeguard democracy.

Patterns of Constitutional Design

Author: Dr Fernando Mendez
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 147240775X
Format: PDF
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To what extent does the constitution-making process matter? By focusing on three central aspects of constitution-making; the nature of the constitution-making body, how it reaches decisions and the way in which a new constitution is legitimized and by examining a wide range of case studies, this international collection from expert contributors provides answers to this crucial question. Bridging the gap between law and political science this book draws together divergent research on the role of constitution making in conflict resolution, constitutional law and democratization and employs a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative methods to unfold and explore the political frameworks of the states affected. Comparative analysis is used to investigate potential causal chains between constitution-making processes and their outcomes in terms of stability, conflict resolution and democracy. By focusing on both procedure and context, the book explores the impact of constitution-making procedures in new and established states and unions in Europe, South America and Africa.

Designing a Polity

Author: James W. Ceaser
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 9781442207929
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In Designing a Polity, James W. Ceaser, one of our leading scholars of American political development, argues for the continuing central role of the Founding within the study of American government. Drawing on essays published over the past 10 years, extensively updated and revised to reflect current politics, Ceaser engages the Founding Fathers, particularly James Madison, emphasizes Alexis de Tocqueville as a model of political inquiry, critiques current and recent theorists such as Richard Rorty and Jacques Derrida, and explores the varieties of contemporary conservative thought. Designing a Polity offers a rich exploration of the core values of political sciences that will be of special interest to scholars and students of American political development, Constitutional thought, and contemporary political thought.

Constitution Writing Religion and Democracy

Author: Aslı Ü. Bâli
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 131683946X
Format: PDF, ePub
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What role do and should constitutions play in mitigating intense disagreements over the religious character of a state? And what kind of constitutional solutions might reconcile democracy with the type of religious demands raised in contemporary democratising or democratic states? Tensions over religion-state relations are gaining increasing salience in constitution writing and rewriting around the world. This book explores the challenge of crafting a democratic constitution under conditions of deep disagreement over a state's religious or secular identity. It draws on a broad range of relevant case studies of past and current constitutional debates in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and offers valuable lessons for societies soon to embark on constitution drafting or amendment processes where religion is an issue of contention.

How to Save a Constitutional Democracy

Author: Tom Ginsburg
Publisher:
ISBN: 022656438X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Democracies are in danger. Around the world, a rising wave of populist leaders threatens to erode the core structures of democratic self rule. In the United States, the election of Donald Trump marked a decisive turning point for many. What kind of president calls the news media the "enemy of the American people," or sees a moral equivalence between violent neo-Nazi protesters in paramilitary formation and residents of a college town defending the racial and ethnic diversity of their homes? Yet, whatever our concerns about the current president, we can be assured that the Constitution offers safeguards to protect against lasting damage--or can we? How to Save a Constitutional Democracy mounts an urgent argument that we can no longer afford to be complacent. Drawing on a rich array of other countries' experiences with democratic backsliding, Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Z. Huq show how constitutional rules can either hinder or hasten the decline of democratic institutions. The checks and balances of the federal government, a robust civil society and media, and individual rights--such as those enshrined in the First Amendment--do not necessarily succeed as bulwarks against democratic decline. Rather, Ginsburg and Huq contend, the sobering reality for the United States is that, to a much greater extent than is commonly realized, the Constitution's design makes democratic erosion more, not less, likely. Its structural rigidity has had the unforeseen consequence of empowering the Supreme Court to fill in some details--often with doctrines that ultimately facilitate rather than inhibit the infringement of rights. Even the bright spots in the Constitution--the First Amendment, for example--may have perverse consequences in the hands of a deft communicator, who can degrade the public sphere by wielding hateful language that would be banned in many other democracies. But we--and the rest of the world--can do better. The authors conclude by laying out practical steps for how laws and constitutional design can play a more positive role in managing the risk of democratic decline.

Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict

Author: Cass R. Sunstein
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190864451
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict, Cass R. Sunstein, one of America's best known commentators on our legal system, offers a bold, new thesis about how the law should work in America, arguing that the courts best enable people to live together, despite their diversity, by resolving particular cases without taking sides in broader, more abstract conflicts. Professor Sunstein closely analyzes the way the law can mediate disputes in a diverse society, examining how the law works in practical terms, and showing that, to arrive at workable, practical solutions, judges must avoid broad, abstract reasoning. He states that judges purposely limit the scope of their decisions to avoid reopening large-scale controversies, calling such actions incompletely theorized agreements. In identifying them as the core feature of legal reasoning, he takes issue with advocates of comprehensive theories and systemization, from Robert Bork to Jeremy Bentham, and Ronald Dworkin. Equally important, Sunstein goes on to argue that it is the living practice of the nation's citizens that truly makes law. Legal reasoning can seem impenetrable, mysterious, baroque. Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict helps dissolve the mystery. Whether discussing abortion, homosexuality, or free speech, the meaning of the Constitution, or the spell cast by the Warren Court, Cass Sunstein writes with grace and power, offering a striking and original vision of the role of the law in a diverse society. In his flexible, practical approach to legal reasoning, he moves the debate over fundamental values and principles out of the courts and back to its rightful place in a democratic state: to the legislatures elected by the people. In this Second Edition, the author updates the previous edition bringing the book into the current mainstream of twenty-first century legal reasoning and judicial decision-making focusing on the many relevant contemporary issues and developments that occurred since its initial 1996 publication.

Governing for the Future

Author: Jonathan Boston
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing
ISBN: 1786350556
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The book focuses on how to enhance the political incentives on democratically-elected governments to protect the interests of future generations.

How Democratic is the American Constitution

Author: Robert Alan Dahl
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300095241
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In this volume, an eminent political scientist questions the extent to which the American Constitution furthers democratic goals. Robert Dahl reveals the Constitution's potentially antidemocratic elements and explains why they are there, compares the American constitutional system to other democratic systems, and explores how Americans might alter their political system to achieve greater equality among citizens. In a new chapter for this second edition, he shows how increasing differences in state populations revealed by the Census of 2000 have further increased the veto power over constitutional amendments held by a tiny minority of Americans. He then explores the prospects for changing some important political practices that are not prescribed by the written Constitution, though most Americans may assume them to be so.

Working a Democratic Constitution

Author: Granville Austin
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN:
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Working a Democratic Constitution tells a very human story of how the social, political and day-to-day lived realities of the Indian people has been reflected in, and in turn directed the course of, constitutional reforms in the country. Through the post independence euphoria to the turbulent years of Indira Gandhi's 'Emergency' and Rajiv Gandhi's brief period of power, the way in which the constitution has evolved to suit the changing needs of the times is an important indicator of India's successful experience with democracy. Granville Austin is one of the world's leading experts on the Indian constitution. Since his classic work The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation (OUP, 1966), he has been working on this long-awaited book, which not only presents archival sources, but also first-hand interviews with and rare documentation by many of the key political and legal figures of the last fifty years. With its wide historical sweep, and meticulously detailed research,this is Austin's magnum opus described by Fali Nariman as a 'great and compassionate work'. The clarity and elegance of Austin's writing makes this book not only a necessary but a pleasurable read for anyone interested in comparative constitutional law and the recent political history of India, and for students, teachers and researchers of the subject.

Constitutions and Conflict Management in Africa

Author: Alan J. Kuperman
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812246586
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Each of Africa's countries has a different constitutional design, is characterized by a unique culture and history, and faces different stresses that threaten to undermine political stability. Presenting the first database of constitutional design in all African countries, along with seven original case studies, Constitutions and Conflict Management in Africa explores the types of domestic political institutions that can buffer societies from destabilizing changes that otherwise increase the risk of violence. With detailed comparative studies of Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, contributing scholars identify key turning points at which a state's political institutions either mitigated or escalated the effects of economic, environmental, demographic, and political shocks. They find that stability can be promoted by various constitutional designs—not only by accommodative institutions that encourage decentralization and multiculturalism, but also by the integrative, centralized designs that characterize the constitutions of most African countries. The greatest danger may arise from partial or inequitable accommodation that can exacerbate societal tensions, culminating in violence up to and including civil war and genocide. Accordingly, Constitutions and Conflict Management in Africa cautions against the typical international prescription for radical reform to replace Africa's existing constitutions with accommodative designs, instead prescribing more gradual constitutional reform to strengthen liberal institutions, such as strong judiciaries and independent electoral commissions. This detailed and methodical volume provides vital lessons for fostering democracy and reducing civil conflict via constitutional reform in Africa and beyond. Contributors: Justin Orlando Frosini, Gilbert M. Khadiagala, Alan J. Kuperman, Karly Kupferberg, Eli Poupko, Eghosa E. Osaghae, Andrew Reynolds, Filip Reyntjens, Arame Tall, Hillary Thomas-Lake, Stefan Wolff, I. William Zartman.