Constitutions and Political Theory
Manchester University Press, 1996 - Political Science - 294 pages
Since constitutional arrangements are what make polities work, they are a central concern of political theory. This book is the first comprehensive exploration of the political theory of constitutions. 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. Constitutions and political theory is a thorough and coherent introduction to the key debates and concepts of the study of political theory and constitutional law. It provides both analysis and practical examples of how constitutions operate today.
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List of tables and figures
History of constitutionalism
The constitutional perspective
Two great constitutional paths
The state institutional elements
Mini or maxi constitutions in the world
Constitutional law and the legal order
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