×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Constitutional Democracy: Creating and Maintaining a Just Political Order
     

Constitutional Democracy: Creating and Maintaining a Just Political Order

by Walter F. Murphy
 
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?

Murphy tells the story of how a democracy is established within the

Overview

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?

Murphy tells the story of how a democracy is established within the context of a fictional constitutional convention for a fictional country. He follows delegates-many of whose arguments track those of real-life political, economic, and legal theorists-as they debate and draft the components of a constitution. The reader comes to understand and appreciate the components of a constitutional text and the contingency and potential of the constitution-making process. Murphy then offers an expository analysis of constitutional maintenance, adaptation, and, essentially, constitutional change.

About the Author:
Walter F. Murphy is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at Princeton University and a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association

Editorial Reviews

Choice

This is a significant, impressive work of constitutional theory in its largest and most important sense.

Law and Politics Book Review
The phrase 'instant classic' may be an oxymoron, but if it can be fairly applied to any recent work in the field of constitutional theory, this is the one.

— Jack Wade Nowlin, Jessie D. Puckett Jr.

Claremont Review of Books
Constitutional Democracy is an extraordinarily ambitious book, taking as its model nothing less than Aristotle's Politics.

— George Thomas

Perspectives on Politics
This fine book brings to bear Walter Murphy’s manifold gifts: breadth of knowledge about political systems around the world and throughout history, keen critical learning about ancient and modern political thought, deep understanding of constitutional law, and a clear and clever style.

— Ralph Ketcham

Journal of the Commonwealth Lawyers' Association
In this magnum opus, Walter Murphy tells [the] story with all the erudition and skill that he has gathered in a lifetime of the study of political systems.

Law and Politics Book Review - Jack Wade Nowlin
The phrase 'instant classic' may be an oxymoron, but if it can be fairly applied to any recent work in the field of constitutional theory, this is the one.

Claremont Review of Books - George Thomas
Constitutional Democracy is an extraordinarily ambitious book, taking as its model nothing less than Aristotle's Politics.

Perspectives on Politics - Ralph Ketcham
This fine book brings to bear Walter Murphy’s manifold gifts: breadth of knowledge about political systems around the world and throughout history, keen critical learning about ancient and modern political thought, deep understanding of constitutional law, and a clear and clever style.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801884702
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
12/28/2006
Series:
The Johns Hopkins Series in Constitutional Thought
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
568
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.60(d)

What People are Saying About This

Stephen Macedo

This long-awaited magnum opus explores the most important, complex, and perilous of political projects: constitutional design, maintenance, and change. Possessed of a matchless breadth of knowledge and a unique gift for clear and witty prose, Murphy lays bare the lessons of constitution-making from ancient Greece to the present day and from America and Europe to Asia and Africa. Drawing on a half-century's study of political science, philosophy, history, and law, Murphy's Constitutional Democracy is essential reading for scholars, citizens, and would-be statesmen who seek to understand the difficult political choices confronting all who seek just and stable democratic governance.

Stephen Macedo, Princeton University

Mary Ann Glendon

Constitutional Democracy is, quite simply, a masterpiece. Only someone with Walter Murphy's immense learning could so effectively bridge the gap between constitutional law and political philosophy, and—as a bonus—provide a model of how material from other countries can be used to illuminate American law and politics. Only someone with Murphy's playful intellect could make an analysis of the creation and maintenance of free republics so readable and entertaining. One can confidently predict that this marvelous book will become a classic.

Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard University

Stuart Taylor

Walter Murphy, one of the world's outstanding constitutional scholars, draws on encyclopedic knowledge of political systems on every continent and throughout history to illuminate the myriad ways in which constitutional democracies have been and can be created and maintained. Grand in scope, profound in insight, this book will long stand as the definitive exploration of the tensions inherent in its title—the role of constitutionalism in constraining democracy—and of the efforts of history's great statesmen and women to resolve those tensions.

Stuart Taylor, National Journal

Meet the Author

Walter F. Murphy (1929-2010) was the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at Princeton University and a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association. He was the author of numerous scholarly books, articles, and textbooks, as well as several novels, including Vicar of Christ.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews