Democracy on the Margin

Russell Hardin

in Liberalism, Constitutionalism, and Democracy

Published in print November 1999 | ISBN: 9780198290841
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599415 | DOI:
 Democracy on the Margin

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The division of decisions into constitutional moments and post‐constitutional moments, with broad coordination on vague general issues in the former and often substantially more conflict over lesser issues in the latter, fits successful constitutional regimes. But in moments of crisis in a previously stable society or in a society in which the initial coordination is contrived or false, there maybe acute moments under the constitution that have the character of constitutional moments. Inability to coordinate then on broad general principles of order can mean the failure of constitutionalism and of democracy. Because it faces severe limits on its workability, democracy is not a panacea for politics. It works only on the margins of great issues on which there is broad consensus.

Keywords: conflict; consensus; constitution; constitutional moments; coordination; democracy; post‐constitutional moments

Chapter.  13917 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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