From Words to Worlds

Author: Beau Breslin
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801890519
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In the 225 years since the United States Constitution was first drafted, no single book has addressed the key questions of what constitutions are designed to do, how they are structured, and why they matter. In From Words to Worlds, constitutional scholar Beau Breslin corrects this glaring oversight, singling out the essential functions that a modern, written constitution must incorporate in order to serve as a nation’s fundamental law. Breslin lays out and explains the basic functions of a modern constitution—including creating a new citizenry, structuring the institutions of government, regulating conflict between layers and branches of government, and limiting the power of the sovereign. He also discusses the theoretical concepts behind the fundamentals of written constitutions and examines in depth some of the most important constitutional charters from around the world. In assaying how states put structural ideas into practice, Breslin asks probing questions about why—and if—constitutions matter. Solidly argued and engagingly written, this comparative study in constitutional thought demonstrates clearly the key components that a state’s foundational document must address. Breslin draws a critically important distinction between constitutional texts and constitutional practice.

Comparative Administrative Law

Author: Susan Rose-Ackerman
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISBN: 1849808104
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This research handbook is a comprehensive overview of the field of comparative administrative law. The specially commissioned chapters in this landmark volume represent a broad, multi-method approach combining perspectives from history and social science with more strictly legal analyses. Comparisons of the United States, continental Europe, and the British Commonwealth are complemented by contributions that focus on Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The work aims to stimulate comparative research on public law, reaching across countries and scholarly disciplines. Beginning with historical reflections on the emergence of administrative law over the last two centuries, the volume then turns to the relationship of administrative and constitutional law, with an additional section focusing on the key issue of administrative independence. Two further sections highlight the possible tensions between impartial expertise and public accountability, drawing insights from economics and political science as well as law. The final section considers the changing boundaries of the administrative state – both the public-private distinction and the links between domestic and transnational regulatory bodies such as the European Union. In covering this broad range of topics, the book illuminates a core concern of administrative law: the way individuals and organizations across different systems test and challenge the legitimacy of public authority. This extensive, interdisciplinary appraisal of the field will prove a vital resource for scholars and students of administrative and comparative law. Historians of the state looking for a broad overview of a key area of public law, reformers in emerging economies, donor agencies looking for governance options, and policy analysts with an interest in the law/policy interface will find this work a valuable addition to their library.

The Founders and the Idea of a National University

Author: George Thomas
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107083435
Format: PDF, ePub
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"Constituting the American Mind is about early efforts to establish a national university and what those efforts say about the nature and logic of American Constitutionalism. This book offers the first in depth study of the efforts to establish a national university from a constitutional perspective. While mostly noted in passing, the national university was put forward by every president from Washington to John Quincy Adams as a necessary supplement to the formal institutions of government; it would help constitute the American mind in a manner that carried forward the ideas the constitution rested on including, for example, the separation of the "civic" from the "theological.""--

Constitutional Democracy

Author: Walter F. Murphy
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801884702
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In this engaging and provocative work, Walter F. Murphy combines a lifetime's study of constitutions and democracy with traditional storytelling to answer fundamental questions about constitutional democracy: How is it created? How is it maintained? How can it be adapted to changing circumstances?

The Communitarian Constitution

Author: Beau Breslin
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801885389
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Bowling Alone, the title of Robert Putnam's 1995 article (later a bestselling book) perfectly captured a sense of national unease: Somewhere along the way, America had become a nation divided by apathy, and the bonds that held together civil society were disappearing. But while the phrase resonated with our growing sense of atomization, it didn't describe a new phenomenon. The fear that isolation has eroded our social bonds had simmered for at least two decades, when communitarianism first emerged as a cogent political philosophy. Communitarianism, as explained in the works of Michael Sandel, Alasdair MacIntyre, Amitai Etzioni, and others, elevates the idea of communal good over the rights of individuals. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, communitarianism gained popular and political ground. The Clintons touted its principles in the '90s, and the two presidents Bush make frequent references to its central tenets. In its short life, the philosophy has generated plenty of books, both pro and con. Beau Breslin's authoritative and original examination, The Communitarian Constitution, contributes to the debate from a wholly original standpoint. Existing critiques focus on the debate between liberalism and communitarianism—in other words, the conflict between individual rights and the communal good. Breslin takes an entirely different stance, examining the pragmatic question of whether or not communitarian policies are truly practicable in a constitutional society. In tackling this question, Breslin traces the evolution of American communitarianism. He examines Lincoln's unconstitutional Civil War suspension of habeas corpus and draws on Federalist and Anti-Federalist arguments, pegging the Anti-Federalists as communitarians' intellectual forebearers. He also grounds his arguments in the real world, examining the constitutions of Germany and Israel, which offer further insight into the relationship between constitutionalism and communitarianism. At a moment when American politicians and citizenry are struggling to balance competing needs, such as civil rights and homeland security, The Communitarian Constitution is vital reading for anyone interested in the evolving tensions between individual rights and the good of the community.

Constitutions and Political Theory

Author: Jan-Erik Lane
Publisher: Manchester University Press
ISBN: 9780719046483
Format: PDF
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Jan-Erik Lane begins by examining the origins and history of constitutionalism, the doctrine that the state must be regulated by means of a set of institutions that guarantee citizen rights and procedural accountability. He then examines the structure of the state in order to identify the essential elements that constitutional institutions regulate. Lane asks why constitutions exist, and how they matter for society. Finally he seeks out the requirements for a fair and democratic constitution by referring to three key concepts in political theory: justice, equality and the rule of law. The book also offers a comparative survey of formal constitutional arrangements in different countries, and an analysis of how constitutions develop in practice, through the implementation of constitutional and administrative law in a country's courts.

Constitutional Preambles

Author: Wim Voermans
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISBN: 178536815X
Format: PDF, Docs
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While their use and significance have increased in recent decades, constitutional preambles have received only scant attention in academic literature. This presents a uniquely quantitative and qualitative analysis of all the preambles currently in force around the world and addresses fascinating questions concerning their occurrence, content, style, function and legal status. Studying preambles not only helps us understand the phenomenon itself, but also teaches us more about constitutions and the constitutional systems in which they are situated.

Principles of Constitutional Design

Author: Donald S. Lutz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139460552
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book is written for anyone, anywhere sitting down to write a constitution. The book is designed to be educative for even those not engaged directly in constitutional design but who would like to come to a better understanding of the nature and problems of constitutionalism and its fundamental building blocks - especially popular sovereignty and the separation of powers. Rather than a 'how-to-do-it' book that explains what to do in the sense of where one should end up, it instead explains where to begin - how to go about thinking about constitutions and constitutional design before sitting down to write anything. Still, it is possible, using the detailed indexes found in the book, to determine the level of popular sovereignty one has designed into a proposed constitution and how to balance it with an approximate, appropriate level of separation of powers to enhance long-term stability.