Constitutionalism, Identity, Difference, and Legitimacy: Theoretical Perspectives
Interest in constitutionalism and in the relationship among constitutions, national identity, and ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity has soared since the collapse of socialist regimes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Since World War II there has also been a proliferation of new constitutions that differ in several essential respects from the American constitution. These two developments raise many important questions concerning the nature and scope of constitutionalism. The essays in this volume--written by an international group of prominent legal scholars, philosophers, political scientists, and social theorists--investigate the theoretical implications of recent constitutional developments and bring useful new perspectives to bear on some of the longest enduring questions confronting constitutionalism and constitutional theory.
Sharing a common focus on the interplay between constitutional identity and individual or group diversity, these essays offer challenging new insights on subjects ranging from universal constitutional norms and whether constitutional norms can be successfully transplanted between cultures to a consideration of whether constitutionalism affords the means to reconcile a diverse society's quest for identity with its need to properly account for its differences; from the relation between constitution-making and revolution to that between collective interests and constitutional liberty and equality.
This collection's broad scope and nontechnical style will engage scholars from the fields of political theory, social theory, international studies, and law.
Contributors. Andrew Arato, Aharon Barak, Jon Elster, George P. Fletcher, Louis Henkin, Arthur J. Jacobson, Carlos Santiago Nino, Ulrich K. Preuss, David A. J. Richards, Michel Rosenfeld, Dominique Rousseau, András Sajó, Frederick Schauer, Bernhard Schlink, M. M. Slaughter, Cass R. Sunstein, Ruti G. Teitel, Robin West
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15 In constitutional decisionmaking , legal tradition and national identity cannot
be understood as distinct . The question is how national identity informs
constitutional adjudication , and vice versa . The question is a complex one when
, as in ...
Fletcher suggests our jurisprudence continues to reflect a tradition of dissent and
individual autonomy . The balance , he maintains , still favors “ individual freedom
" over “ collective interest ” and “ national pride . " 20 The recent decisions ...
62 Further , it is not just simple majoritarianism ; in the Court ' s reliance on
tradition , the balance is being struck in favor of past majorities . ...
representatives have been repeatedly defeated by asserted interests in
majoritarian traditions .
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