Emergent politics and constitutional drift: the fragility of procedural liberalism

Alexander Salter (Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)
Glenn Furton (Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy

ISSN: 2045-2101

Publication date: 12 March 2018



The purpose of this paper is to integrate classical elite theory into theories of constitutional bargains.


Qualitative methods/surveys/case studies.


Open-ended constitutional entrepreneurship cannot be forestalled. Constitutional entrepreneurs will almost always be social elites.

Research limitations/implications

The research yields a toolkit for analysing constitutional bargains. It needs to be used in historical settings to acquire greater empirical content. Need to be applied to concrete historical cases to do economic history. Right now it is still only institutionally contingent theory.

Practical implications

Formal constitutions do not, and cannot, bind. Informal constitutions can, but they are continually evolving due to elite pressure group behaviors.

Social implications

Liberalism needs another method to institutionalize itself!


Open-ended nature of constitutional bargaining overlooked in orthodox institutional entrepreneurship/constitutional economics literature.



Alexander Salter and Glenn Furton (2018) "Emergent politics and constitutional drift: the fragility of procedural liberalism", Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 34-50

Download as .RIS


: https://doi.org/10.1108/JEPP-D-17-00016



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