Constitutional Democracy: Creating and Maintaining a Just Political Order

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Overview

Winner, 2007 Best of the Social Sciences, Association of American Publishers’ Professional and Scholarly Publishing DivisionWinner, Association of American Publishers’ Professional and Scholarly Publishing Award in Government and Politics

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.

"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."— Perspectives on Politics

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

"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."— Law and Politics Book Review

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

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.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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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.
Choice
This is a significant, impressive work of constitutional theory in its largest and most important sense.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

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.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents


Preface     ix
General Introduction     1
Creating a Constitutional Democracy
Introduction     23
Values, Interests, and Goals     36
Alternative Political Systems     68
Alternative Political Systems: The Debate     108
The Possibility of Constitutional Democracy     147
To Draft or Not to Draft a Constitutional Text     185
Drafting 1: The Shape of the Constitution     206
Drafting 2: The Judiciary     241
Drafting 3: A Bill of Rights     276
Drafting 4: Special Cases     307
Epilogue     324
Maintaining a Constitutional Democracy
Introduction     331
Creating Citizens     342
Military and Security Forces     378
Rebuilding the Machinery of the State: The Bureaucracies     398
Dealing with Deposed Despots     425
Constitutional Interpretation as Constitutional Maintenance     460
Constitutional Change and Its Limits     497
Epilogue     530
Reprise     533
General Index     537
Index of Cases     545
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