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Constitutional Theocracy
     

Constitutional Theocracy

by Ran Hirschl
 

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In this ground-breaking book, renowned constitutional scholar Ran Hirschl describes “constitutional theocracy,” a new, hybrid form of government that has emerged from an overlapping of two parallel trends during the 20th century: the rise in political religion on the one hand and the spread of constitutional forms of government to most countries in the

Overview

In this ground-breaking book, renowned constitutional scholar Ran Hirschl describes “constitutional theocracy,” a new, hybrid form of government that has emerged from an overlapping of two parallel trends during the 20th century: the rise in political religion on the one hand and the spread of constitutional forms of government to most countries in the world on the other. Hirschl delivers two blockbuster theses: That in most constitutional theocracies, 1) courts are the primary secular agents of government, and 2) the electorate usually has a choice between a secular party that is against redistribution of wealth and a more theological party that supports redistribution. This last thesis, especially, will be news to many of the book’s American readers, who are accustomed to a theological politics stridently opposed to redistribution.

Editorial Reviews

Choice

Hirschl brings a wealth of understanding of comparative judicial politics in numerous contexts... [Constitutional Theocracy] proceeds to explore the implications of the constitutional embrace and limitation of religion, arguing that constitutionalism and theocratic government work hand-in-hand in both secular and theocratic contexts. It holds that secular elites in particular make use of legal texts as a means of consolidating their rule in all such societies, whether officially religious or secular...Hirschl's work is unique and extremely important. It is a must-read for all scholars of religion and legal politics.
— P. Rowe

Mark Graber
A tour de force. Ran Hirschl's powerful analysis convincingly demonstrates that constitutionalism encompasses constitutional theocracy as well as constitutional democracy, that constitutional theocracy is becoming a dominant form of constitutionalism globally, and that this conflation of constitutional and religious values may have underappreciated virtues (and vices).
Sanford Levinson
Ran Hirschl proves himself to be among the leading scholars of comparative constitutionalism writing today, and his signal contribution is to develop and analyze a distinctive form of constitutional polity, "constitutional theocracy." Anyone interested in the interaction of law and society will certainly need to read this book and will find themselves fascinated by the stories about developments in Iran, Pakistan, India, Israel, and Turkey, to name only five of the countries Hirschl analyzes in depth.
Jhh Weiler
Inevitably this book will raise hackles - given its critically important subject how could it be otherwise? But Hirschl is learned in exposition and acute in analysis. He demonstrates the same superb comparative skills familiar from his previous classic.
Choice - P. Rowe
Hirschl brings a wealth of understanding of comparative judicial politics in numerous contexts... [Constitutional Theocracy] proceeds to explore the implications of the constitutional embrace and limitation of religion, arguing that constitutionalism and theocratic government work hand-in-hand in both secular and theocratic contexts. It holds that secular elites in particular make use of legal texts as a means of consolidating their rule in all such societies, whether officially religious or secular...Hirschl's work is unique and extremely important. It is a must-read for all scholars of religion and legal politics.
JHH Weiler
Inevitably this book will raise hackles - given its critically important subject how could it be otherwise? But Hirschl is learned in exposition and acute in analysis. He demonstrates the same superb comparative skills familiar from his previous classic.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674059375
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
05/05/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
314
File size:
388 KB

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What People are Saying About This

JHH Weiler
Inevitably this book will raise hackles - given its critically important subject how could it be otherwise? But Hirschl is learned in exposition and acute in analysis. He demonstrates the same superb comparative skills familiar from his previous classic.
JHH Weiler, Editor-in-Chief, I-CON The International Journal of Constitutional Law
Sanford Levinson
Ran Hirschl proves himself to be among the leading scholars of comparative constitutionalism writing today, and his signal contribution is to develop and analyze a distinctive form of constitutional polity, "constitutional theocracy." Anyone interested in the interaction of law and society will certainly need to read this book and will find themselves fascinated by the stories about developments in Iran, Pakistan, India, Israel, and Turkey, to name only five of the countries Hirschl analyzes in depth.
Sanford Levinson, University of Texas at Austin School of Law
Mark Graber
A tour de force. Ran Hirschl's powerful analysis convincingly demonstrates that constitutionalism encompasses constitutional theocracy as well as constitutional democracy, that constitutional theocracy is becoming a dominant form of constitutionalism globally, and that this conflation of constitutional and religious values may have underappreciated virtues (and vices).

Mark Graber, University of Maryland School of Law

Meet the Author

Ran Hirschl is Professor of Political Science and Law, University of Toronto, and Canada Research Chair in Constitutionalism and Democracy.

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