What Should Constitutions Do?

Overview

The essays in this volume—written by prominent philosophers, political scientists, and legal scholars—address these questions and explore related issues. Some essays examine the basic purposes of constitutions and their status as fundamental law. Some deal with specific constitutional provisions: they ask, for example, which branches of government should have the authority to conduct foreign policy, or how the judiciary should be organized, or what role a preamble should play in a nation's founding document. ...

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What Should Constitutions Do?

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Overview

The essays in this volume—written by prominent philosophers, political scientists, and legal scholars—address these questions and explore related issues. Some essays examine the basic purposes of constitutions and their status as fundamental law. Some deal with specific constitutional provisions: they ask, for example, which branches of government should have the authority to conduct foreign policy, or how the judiciary should be organized, or what role a preamble should play in a nation's founding document. Other essays explore questions of constitutional design: they consider the advantages of a federal system of government, or the challenges of designing a constitution for a pluralistic society—or they ask what form of constitution best promotes personal liberty and economic prosperity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521175531
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2010
  • Series: Social Philosophy and Policy Series
  • Pages: 354
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

1. What are constitutions, and what should (and can) they do? Larry Alexander; 2. Constitution and fundamental law: the lesson of Classical Athens John David Lewis; 3. Contract, covenant, constitution Loren E. Lomasky; 4. Constitutionalism in the age of terror Michael Zuckert and Peter Valenzuela; 5. The liberal constitution and foreign affairs Fernando R. Tesón; 6. Do constitutions have a point? Reflections on 'parchment barriers' and preambles Sanford Levinson; 7. The origins of an independent judiciary in New York, 1621-1777 Scott D. Gerber; 8. Foot voting, political ignorance, and constitutional design Ilya Somin; 9. Pluralist constitutionalism William A. Galston; 10. Deliberative democracy and constitutions James S. Fishkin; 11. The constitution of nondomination Guido Pincione; 12. Can we design an optimal constitution? Of structural ambiguity and rights clarity Richard A. Epstein.

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