POSC 469 - Seminar: Constitutional Theory
Using the Constitution of the United States as its central case, the seminar examines the theory and practice of constitutions and constitutionalism. Students consider such questions as: What is a constitution? Why have one? What does it mean to “have” a constitution (what are the possible relations between the text and practice)? What are the distinct forms of constitutional government and what are their advantages and disadvantages? To what extent should we consider a constitution a cause or effect of political culture? How should one interpret a constitution; to what extent are the terms of American debate—such as originalism v. nonoriginalism—found in other countries? As the form of government to which most countries aspire today (or the form they claim to be), liberal democracy seems to have pride of place, but why? Is it the right answer to the ancient question of the “best regime”? Or perhaps the best practicable regime? Do the forces of history favor its existence, or does this depend more fundamentally on acts of statesmanship?
Major/Minor Restrictions: None
Class Restriction: None
Area of Inquiry: Social Relations,Inst.& Agents
Liberal Arts CORE: None
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