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The Endurance of National Constitutions

£72.00

  • Date Published: December 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521515504

£ 72.00
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About the Authors
  • Constitutions are supposed to provide an enduring structure for politics. Yet only half live more than nine years. Why is it that some constitutions endure while others do not? In The Endurance of National Constitutions Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg and James Melton examine the causes of constitutional endurance from an institutional perspective. Supported by an original set of cross-national historical data, theirs is the first comprehensive study of constitutional mortality. They show that whereas constitutions are imperilled by social and political crises, certain aspects of a constitution's design can lower the risk of death substantially. Thus, to the extent that endurance is desirable - a question that the authors also subject to scrutiny - the decisions of founders take on added importance.

    • The book is based on a complete census of national constitutions, truly unprecedented data
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521515504
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 155 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 20 b/w illus. 8 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. How long should constitutions endure?
    3. Conceptualizing constitutions
    4. A positive theory of constitutional endurance
    5. Empirical implications of the theory: identifying risks to constitutional life
    6. An epidemiological analysis of constitutional mortality
    7. Contrasts in constitutional endurance
    8. Contexts of chronic failure
    9. Conclusion.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Comparative Constitutional Law
    • Constitutional Politics
    • Democracy and Constitutionalism
    • Political Institutions
  • Authors

    Zachary Elkins, University of Texas, Austin
    Zachary Elkins is Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Elkins writes on issues of democracy, institutional reform, and research methodology. Much of his current research is focused on the origins and consequences of constitutional design. He also co-directs the project constitutionmaking.org, which is intended to provide constitutional drafters with usable insights from academic research on constitutional design. He received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. from Yale University.

    Tom Ginsburg, University of Chicago
    Tom Ginsburg is Professor at the University of Chicago Law School. His books include Rule by Law: The Politics of Courts in Authoritarian Regimes (2008) and Judicial Review in New Democracies (2003), which won the American Political Science Association's C. Herman Pritchett Award for best book on law and courts. Professor Ginsburg has previously worked for The Asia Foundation, consulted on law and democratic governance programs, and served as a legal advisor at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague.

    James Melton, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies
    James Melton is a graduate student in political science at the University of Illinois. His research focuses broadly on comparative democratization, and he is currently working on projects related to constitutional design, voter turnout, and measuring democracy.

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