06 11 2014 06 11 2014
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Three Paths to Constitutionalism – and Their Authoritarian Alternatives

WZB Distinguished Lecture in Social Sciences by Bruce Ackerman
Marie Unger
mail: marie [dot] unger [at] wzb [dot] eu
fon: +49 30 25491-512

How do constitutions legitimate their claim to authority? In three different ways. The first path is pursued by revolutionary outsiders; the second, by established insiders; the third, by established insiders striking a deal with political elites previously excluded from the system. During the twentieth century, the revolutionary tradition is exemplified in places like India, South Africa, and postwar France and Italy; insider-constitutionalism, in the British Commonwealth; elite bargaining  between insider and outsider elites, in the constitutions of Spain, Germany, Japan, and the European Union. Different pathways generate different legitimation problems. A failure to solve these problems opens the way to different kinds of authoritarianism – as the current world-wide struggle over constitutional legitimacy reveals.

Bruce Ackerman is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale. His books have had a broad influence in political philosophy, constitutional law, and public policy. His major works include Social Justice in the Liberal State and his multivolume constitutional history, We the People

Comments by: Michael Hutter and Ruud Koopmans (WZB)

This event is part of the WZB Distinguished Lectures in Social Sciences.

: Prof. Wolfgang Merkel, WZB
Donnerstag, 06. November 2014
Beginn: 18:00 Uhr
: WZB, Reichpietschufer 50, Raum A 300