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George Thomas

Popular constitutionalists seek to recover the popular sovereignty foundations of American constitutionalism, bringing the people in as active participants in the…

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Popular constitutionalists seek to recover the popular sovereignty foundations of American constitutionalism, bringing the people in as active participants in the constitutional enterprise as they create and refashion the Constitution by “majoritarian and populist mechanisms” (Amar, 1995, p. 89). The result is to recover an understanding, in FDR's words, of constitution as a “layman's document, not a lawyer's contract” (Kramer, 2004, p. 207). This understanding has deep roots in American constitutionalism, tracing its lineage back to the founding and, as popular constitutionalists insist, finds powerful expression in the likes of The Federalist and Abraham Lincoln (Ackerman, 1991; Tushnet, 1998). In exercising popular sovereignty, the people founded the Constitution, but they did not simply retreat from the trajectory of constitutional development. Rather, as Bruce Ackerman argues, since the Constitution of 1787 the people have spoken in a manner that has re-founded the Constitution giving us a “multiple origins originalism” (Kersch, 2006a, p. 801; see also Amar, 1998 and 2005). In turning to founding era thought and the notion of constitutional foundations, popular constitutionalists like Ackerman and Amar make common cause with conservatives who turn to original intent, but then they seek to synthesize this understanding with democratic expressions of popular will by emphasizing both formal and informal constitutional change, giving us layered “foundings,” and a more complex version of “living constitutionalism.” Such constitutional change, however, can only legitimately come from an authentic expression of “We the People.”

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Special Issue Constitutional Politics in a Conservative Era
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1486-7

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Michael W. Spicer

This paper examines the ideas of David Hume and their importance to American public administration writing and practice. Hume’s ideas on empiricism, scepticism, and…

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This paper examines the ideas of David Hume and their importance to American public administration writing and practice. Hume’s ideas on empiricism, scepticism, and constitutionalism have indirectly, via their impact on modern philosophy, encouraged both support for and criticism of empiricist approaches in public administration. Also, Hume’s ideas on constitutionalism, because of their influence on the Founders' writings and design, provide an important legacy for the practice of public administration. The paper argues that Hume’s notion of mitigated scepticism, as well as his constitutional ideas, have continuing relevance for the study and practice of contemporary public administration. This paper examines the ideas of David Hume and their importance to American public administration writing and practice. Hume’s ideas on empiricism, scepticism, and constitutionalism have indirectly, via their impact on modern philosophy, encouraged both support for and criticism of empiricist approaches in public administration. Also, Hume’s ideas on constitutionalism, because of their influence on the Founders' writings and design, provide an important legacy for the practice of public administration. The paper argues that Hume’s notion of mitigated scepticism, as well as his constitutional ideas, have continuing relevance for the study and practice of contemporary public administration. This paper examines the ideas of David Hume and their importance to American public administration writing and practice. Hume’s ideas on empiricism, scepticism, and constitutionalism have indirectly, via their impact on modern philosophy, encouraged both support for and criticism of empiricist approaches in public administration. Also, Hume’s ideas on constitutionalism, because of their influence on the Founders' writings and design, provide an important legacy for the practice of public administration. The paper argues that Hume’s notion of mitigated scepticism, as well as his constitutional ideas, have continuing relevance for the study and practice of contemporary public administration. This paper examines the ideas of David Hume and their importance to American public administration writing and practice. Hume’s ideas on empiricism, scepticism, and constitutionalism have indirectly, via their impact on modern philosophy, encouraged both support for and criticism of empiricist approaches in public administration. Also, Hume’s ideas on constitutionalism, because of their influence on the Founders' writings and design, provide an important legacy for the practice of public administration. The paper argues that Hume’s notion of mitigated scepticism, as well as his constitutional ideas, have continuing relevance for the study and practice of contemporary public administration.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Viktor J. Vanberg

The notion of constitutionalism and federalism as principal devices for limiting the power of government is central to F. A. Hayek’s political philosophy. A number of…

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The notion of constitutionalism and federalism as principal devices for limiting the power of government is central to F. A. Hayek’s political philosophy. A number of political scientists have recently criticized Hayek’s (as well as J. M. Buchanan’s and B. R. Weingast’s) reasoning on this subject for its presumed “neoliberal bias.” This paper reviews this critique and takes it as a challenge to clarify certain ambiguities in Hayek’s – and, more generally, in liberal – accounts of constitutionalism and federalism.

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Revisiting Hayek’s Political Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-988-6

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Michael W. Spicer

Drawing on the ideas of Stuart Hampshire, this paper argues that American constitutionalism, thought of as a set of practices for resolving conflict, may be especially…

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Drawing on the ideas of Stuart Hampshire, this paper argues that American constitutionalism, thought of as a set of practices for resolving conflict, may be especially helpful in the postmodern condition because it encourages the resolution of conflict among different cultural conceptions of the good by practices of adversarial argument and procedural justice, rather than simply by force and violence. Consequently, a constitutional approach to American public administration has merit in directing our attention towards our particular practices for resolving value conflict. However, a constitutional approach cannot provide universal standards for the fair resolution of conflict. Also, any attempt to legitimate public administration in our constitutional practices is always potentially problematic because such practices, themselves, are always contestable.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Zehava Zevit

A longstanding question of American constitutionalism emerges out of the fact that constitutions demand fidelity. By virtue of what is the American Constitution binding…

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A longstanding question of American constitutionalism emerges out of the fact that constitutions demand fidelity. By virtue of what is the American Constitution binding? Zevit contends that many of the explanations of constitutional fidelity offered today fail to reconcile Americans’ submission to a Constitution written and ratified by generations of long ago with their claim (or aspiration) to be self-governing as a People today. Zevit introduces one type of explanation (the aptness explanation) that does not contain this flaw, and, drawing on an expansive definition of culture as a notion that encompasses the legal-political, offers the concepts of legal-political culture and baseline community as a framework for assessing the Constitution’s aptness while maintaining the People’s self-rule. She argues that constitutional aptness secures the foundations of constitutional legitimacy.

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Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-262-7

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M.C. Mirow

This chapter examines ways the Spanish Constitution of 1812, also known as the Constitution of Cádiz, has been viewed in historical and constitutional thought. The…

Abstract

This chapter examines ways the Spanish Constitution of 1812, also known as the Constitution of Cádiz, has been viewed in historical and constitutional thought. The document is a liberal constitution establishing constitutional rights, a representative government, and a parliamentary monarchy. It influenced ideas of American equality within the Spanish Empire, and its traces are observed in the process of Latin American independence. To these accepted views, one must add that the Constitution was a lost moment in Latin American constitutional development. By the immediate politicization of constitutionalism after 1812, the document marks the beginning of constitutional difficulties in the region.

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Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-615-8

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The Rise of Hungarian Populism: State Autocracy and the Orbán Regime
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-751-0

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Article

Thomas Bräuninger

The Maastricht process sets up economic and fiscal criteria that member states of the European Union are expected to meet in the preparation for and when having joined the…

Abstract

The Maastricht process sets up economic and fiscal criteria that member states of the European Union are expected to meet in the preparation for and when having joined the third stage of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). According to EMU rules, the Commission monitors the fiscal behavior of the participants but member states themselves-as members of the Council of Ministers-finally vote on the Commission recommendations. It is therefore questionable whether these criteria actually constrain member states from running excessive deficits. This paper adopts a constitutionalist perspective to address this question by asking how member states will interpret or even change the fiscal rules of the EMU in the future. Council decision-making in the area of EMU politics is analyzed using data on the fiscal positions of old and new member states of the European Union. The findings suggest that the recent enlargement will shift policy outcomes, but, if compared to the situation at the time of the signing of the Maastricht treaty, the effect is rather marginal.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article

Michael W. Spicer

This article examines the influence of David Hume’s ideas on American public administration. Hume’s ideas have indirectly, via their impact on modern philosophy…

Abstract

This article examines the influence of David Hume’s ideas on American public administration. Hume’s ideas have indirectly, via their impact on modern philosophy, encouraged both support for and criticism of empiricist approaches in public administration. Also Hume’s ideas on constitutionalism, because of their influence on the writings and designs of the founders of the Constitution, provide what is arguably his most important legacy for the practice of public administration.

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Journal of Management History, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

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The Rise of Hungarian Populism: State Autocracy and the Orbán Regime
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-751-0

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