Chapter

Constitutions and Constitution‐Building: A Comparative Perspective

Robert Elgie and Jan Zielonka

in Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe Volume 1: Institutional Engineering

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780199244089
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600364 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199244081.003.0002

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

 Constitutions and Constitution‐Building: A Comparative Perspective

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Examines the nature of constitutions and the constitution‐building process, focusing on some of the most important choices that constitution builders face. The chapter is divided into four main sections. The first section explores the complex relationship between democracy and constitutionalism. The second section identifies two major constitutional types and considers whether or not constitution builders should adopt a codified constitution. The third section addresses a timetable for constitution‐building and the execution of political power, including the limits imposed on democratically elected parliaments and referenda as a legitimizing strategy. The fourth section discusses the product of constitution‐building and the responsibilities of the framers.

Keywords: constitutionalism; constitution‐building; constitutions; democracy; legitimacy; parliaments; referendum

Chapter.  9229 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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