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Are ‘Western’ Constitutions Relevant to Anything Other than the Countries they Serve?

Ordeshook, Peter C. (2002) Are ‘Western’ Constitutions Relevant to Anything Other than the Countries they Serve? Constitutional Political Economy, 13 (1). pp. 3-24. ISSN 1043-4062. doi:10.1023/a:1013625406884.

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This essay argues the universal relevance of the Western constitutional experience. It does so, however, not with reference to the commonalities of historical circumstance or the experience of specific states. Instead, we argue that just as events in the natural world must follow universal laws, the same it true about stable democracy, whether we are concerned with parliamentary or presidential systems, economically developed or undeveloped states, or whatever. We take as given that there necessarily exists universal principles of democratic constitutional design, even if those principles remain largely undiscovered. We argue further that discovery is more likely if we conceptualize constitutions as equilibrium selection devices and if we take as our starting point whatever understanding we possess about coordination and equilibrium selection in complex social processes, including the evolution and character of social norms and conventions.

Item Type:Article
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Additional Information:© 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Subject Keywords:Social Norm; Social Process; Presidential System; Natural World; Universal Principle
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:JEL classification: H1, K10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200116-155726419
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Official Citation:Ordeshook, P.C. Are ‘Western’ Constitutions Relevant to Anything Other than the Countries they Serve?. Constitutional Political Economy 13, 3–24 (2002) doi:10.1023/A:1013625406884
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100773
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Jan 2020 00:03
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:56

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