Popular Sovereignty in Early Modern Constitutional Thought

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Author: Daniel Lee

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198745168

Category:

Page: 375

View: 3131

Popular sovereignty - the doctrine that the public powers of state originate in a concessive grant of power from 'the people' - is perhaps the cardinal doctrine of modern constitutional theory, placing full constitutional authority in the people at large, rather than in the hands of judges, kings, or a political elite. Although its classic formulation is to be found in the major theoretical treatments of the modern state, such as in the treatises of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, this book explores the intellectual origins of this doctrine and investigates its chief source in late medieval and early modern thought. Long regarded the principal source for modern legal reasoning, Roman law had a profound impact on the major architects of popular sovereignty such as Francois Hotman, Jean Bodin, and Hugo Grotius. Adopting the juridical language of obligations, property, and personality as well as the model of the Roman constitution, these jurists crafted a uniform theory that located the right of sovereignty in the people at large as the legal owners of state authority. In recovering the origins of popular sovereignty, the book demonstrates the importance of the Roman law as a chief source of modern constitutional thought.

Carl Schmitt's State and Constitutional Theory

A Critical Analysis

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Author: Benjamin Schupmann

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192509314

Category: Law

Page: 232

View: 9785

Can a constitutional democracy commit suicide? Can an illiberal antidemocratic party legitimately obtain power through democratic elections and amend liberalism and democracy out of the constitution entirely? In Weimar Germany, these theoretical questions were both practically and existentially relevant. By 1932, the Nazi and Communist parties combined held a majority of seats in parliament. Neither accepted the legitimacy of liberal democracy. Their only reason for participating democratically was to amend the constitution out of existence. This book analyses Carl Schmitt's state and constitutional theory and shows how it was conceived in response to the Weimar crisis. Right-wing and left-wing political extremists recognized that a path to legal revolution lay in the Weimar constitution's combination of democratic procedures, total neutrality toward political goals, and positive law. Schmitt's writings sought to address the unique problems posed by mass democracy. Schmitt's thought anticipated 'constrained' or 'militant' democracy, a type of constitution that guards against subversive expressions of popular sovereignty and whose mechanisms include the entrenchment of basic constitutional commitments and party bans. Schmitt's state and constitutional theory remains important: the problems he identified continue to exist within liberal democratic states. Schmitt offers democrats today a novel way to understand the legitimacy of liberal democracy and the limits of constitutional change.

The Revolutionary Constitution

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Author: David J. Bodenhamer

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019991303X

Category: History

Page: 296

View: 3656

The framers of the Constitution chose their words carefully when they wrote of a more perfect union--not absolutely perfect, but with room for improvement. Indeed, we no longer operate under the same Constitution as that ratified in 1788, or even the one completed by the Bill of Rights in 1791--because we are no longer the same nation. In The Revolutionary Constitution, David J. Bodenhamer provides a comprehensive new look at America's basic law, integrating the latest legal scholarship with historical context to highlight how it has evolved over time. The Constitution, he notes, was the product of the first modern revolution, and revolutions are, by definition, moments when the past shifts toward an unfamiliar future, one radically different from what was foreseen only a brief time earlier. In seeking to balance power and liberty, the framers established a structure that would allow future generations to continually readjust the scale. Bodenhamer explores this dynamic through seven major constitutional themes: federalism, balance of powers, property, representation, equality, rights, and security. With each, he takes a historical approach, following their changes over time. For example, the framers wrote multiple protections for property rights into the Constitution in response to actions by state governments after the Revolution. But twentieth-century courts--and Congress--redefined property rights through measures such as zoning and the designation of historical landmarks (diminishing their commercial value) in response to the needs of a modern economy. The framers anticipated just such a future reworking of their own compromises between liberty and power. With up-to-the-minute legal expertise and a broad grasp of the social and political context, this book is a tour de force of Constitutional history and analysis.

Popular Sovereignty in Historical Perspective

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Author: Richard Bourke,Quentin Skinner

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107130409

Category: History

Page: 416

View: 8420

The first collaborative volume to explore popular sovereignty, a pivotal concept in the history of political thought.

The Oxford companion to American law

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Author: Kermit Hall,David Scott Clark

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 912

View: 6810

The comprehensive reference guide to American law features entries written by more than three hundred experts on everything from the Salem witchcraft trials to wiretapping.

States of War

Enlightenment Origins of the Political

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Author: David William Bates

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231528663

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 2437

We fear that the growing threat of violent attack has upset the balance between existential concepts of political power, which emphasize security, and traditional notions of constitutional limits meant to protect civil liberties. We worry that constitutional states cannot, during a time of war, terror, and extreme crisis, maintain legality and preserve civil rights and freedoms. David Williams Bates allays these concerns by revisiting the theoretical origins of the modern constitutional state, which, he argues, recognized and made room for tensions among law, war, and the social order. We traditionally associate the Enlightenment with the taming of absolutist sovereign power through the establishment of a legal state based on the rights of individuals. In his critical rereading, Bates shows instead that Enlightenment thinkers conceived of political autonomy in a systematic, theoretical way. Focusing on the nature of foundational violence, war, and existential crises, eighteenth-century thinkers understood law and constitutional order not as constraints on political power but as the logical implication of that primordial force. Returning to the origin stories that informed the beginnings of political community, Bates reclaims the idea of law, warfare, and the social order as intertwining elements subject to complex historical development. Following an analysis of seminal works by seventeenth-century natural-law theorists, Bates reviews the major canonical thinkers of constitutional theory (Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau) from the perspective of existential security and sovereign power. Countering Carl Schmitt's influential notion of the autonomy of the political, Bates demonstrates that Enlightenment thinkers understood the autonomous political sphere as a space of law protecting individuals according to their political status, not as mere members of a historically contingent social order.

Intimations of Global Law

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Author: Neil Walker

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316195708

Category: Law

Page: N.A

View: 9229

A strain of law reaching beyond any bounded international or transnational remit to assert a global jurisdiction has recently acquired a new prominence. Intimations of Global Law detects this strain in structures of international law claiming a planetary scope independent of state consent, in new threads of global constitutional law, administrative law and human rights, and in revived notions of ius gentium and the global rule of law. It is also visible in the legal pursuit of functionally differentiated global public goods, general conflict rules, norms of 'legal pluralism' and new legal hybrids such as the global law of peace and humanity law. The coming of global law affects how law manifests itself in a global age and alters the shape of our legal-ethical horizons. Global law presents a diverse, unsettled and sometimes conflicted legal category, and one which challenges our very understanding of the rudiments of legal authority.

The Paradox of Constitutionalism

Constituent Power and Constitutional Form

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Author: Martin Loughlin,Neil Walker

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780199204960

Category: Law

Page: 375

View: 6442

In modern political communities ultimate authority is often thought to reside with 'the people'. This book examines how constitutions act as a delegation of power from 'the people' to representative and expert institutions, and looks at the attendant problems of maintaining the legitimacy of these constitutional arrangements.

Political Discourse in Early Modern Britain

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Author: Nicholas Phillipson,Quentin Skinner

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521392426

Category: History

Page: 444

View: 9647

Inspired by the work of intellectual historian J. G. A. Pocock, this 1993 collection explores the political ideologies of early modern Britain.