Constitutions As Expressive Documents

Geoffrey Brennan and Alan Hamlin

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548477
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577437 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Constitutions As Expressive Documents

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This article looks at constitutions as expressive documents. Two concepts are the main focus of this article: the constitution and the notion of expressiveness. The article tries to clarify these concepts by appeal of a contrast, which will be between a constitution as a legal document and the more general idea of a constitution, which is envisaged by the Constitutional Political Economy (CPE). It also tries to clarify the notion of expressive activity, followed by a discussion on the issue of how expressiveness operates in electoral politics. Finally, a simple two-by-two matrix is used to explore the role of expressive elements in constitutions.

Keywords: constitutions; expressive documents; legal document; Constitutional Political Economy; expressive activity; electoral politics; matrix; role; expressive elements

Article.  6083 words. 

Subjects: Politics and Law ; Comparative Politics

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