Unstable Constitutionalism: Law and Politics in South Asia

Cambridge University Press
Free sample

Although the field of constitutional law has become increasingly comparative in recent years, its geographic focus has remained limited. South Asia, despite being the site of the world's largest democracy and a vibrant if turbulent constitutionalism, is one of the important neglected regions within the field. This book remedies this lack of attention by providing a detailed examination of constitutional law and practice in five South Asian countries: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Identifying a common theme of volatile change, it develops the concept of 'unstable constitutionalism', studying the sources of instability alongside reactions and responses to it. By highlighting unique theoretical and practical questions in an underrepresented region, Unstable Constitutionalism constitutes an important step toward truly global constitutional scholarship.
Read more

About the author

Mark Tushnet is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. His important works in the field of comparative constitutional law include Advanced Introduction to Comparative Constitutional Law (2014), The Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law (co-edited, 2012) and the leading handbook, Weak Courts, Strong Rights: Judicial Review and Social Welfare Rights in Comparative Constitutional Law (2009).

Madhav Khosla is currently a PhD candidate at the Department of Government at Harvard University, Massachusetts. He is the author of The Indian Constitution (2012) and is currently co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Indian Constitutional Law.

Read more

Reviews

Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Read more
Published on
Sep 17, 2015
Read more
Pages
415
Read more
ISBN
9781316419083
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Law / Comparative
Law / Constitutional
Law / General
Political Science / Comparative Politics
Political Science / General
Social Science / Black Studies (Global)
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Mark Tushnet
Unlike many other countries, the United States has few constitutional guarantees of social welfare rights such as income, housing, or healthcare. In part this is because many Americans believe that the courts cannot possibly enforce such guarantees. However, recent innovations in constitutional design in other countries suggest that such rights can be judicially enforced--not by increasing the power of the courts but by decreasing it. In Weak Courts, Strong Rights, Mark Tushnet uses a comparative legal perspective to show how creating weaker forms of judicial review may actually allow for stronger social welfare rights under American constitutional law.

Under "strong-form" judicial review, as in the United States, judicial interpretations of the constitution are binding on other branches of government. In contrast, "weak-form" review allows the legislature and executive to reject constitutional rulings by the judiciary--as long as they do so publicly. Tushnet describes how weak-form review works in Great Britain and Canada and discusses the extent to which legislatures can be expected to enforce constitutional norms on their own. With that background, he turns to social welfare rights, explaining the connection between the "state action" or "horizontal effect" doctrine and the enforcement of social welfare rights. Tushnet then draws together the analysis of weak-form review and that of social welfare rights, explaining how weak-form review could be used to enforce those rights. He demonstrates that there is a clear judicial path--not an insurmountable judicial hurdle--to better enforcement of constitutional social welfare rights.

Mark Tushnet
Here a leading scholar in constitutional law, Mark Tushnet, challenges hallowed American traditions of judicial review and judicial supremacy, which allow U.S. judges to invalidate "unconstitutional" governmental actions. Many people, particularly liberals, have "warm and fuzzy" feelings about judicial review. They are nervous about what might happen to unprotected constitutional provisions in the chaotic worlds of practical politics and everyday life. By examining a wide range of situations involving constitutional rights, Tushnet vigorously encourages us all to take responsibility for protecting our liberties. Guarding them is not the preserve of judges, he maintains, but a commitment of the citizenry to define itself as "We the People of the United States." The Constitution belongs to us collectively, as we act in political dialogue with each other--whether in the street, in the voting booth, or in the legislature as representatives of others.

Tushnet urges that we create a "populist" constitutional law in which judicial declarations deserve no special consideration. But he warns that in so doing we must pursue reasonable interpretations of the "thin Constitution"--the fundamental American principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution. A populist Constitution, he maintains, will be more effective than a document exclusively protected by the courts. Tushnet believes, for example, that the serious problems of the communist scare of the 1950s were aggravated when Senator Joseph McCarthy's opponents were lulled into inaction, believing that the judicial branch would step in and declare McCarthy's actions unconstitutional. Instead of fulfilling the expectations, the Court allowed McCarthy to continue his crusade until it was ended. Tushnet points out that in this context and in many others, errors occurred because of the existence of judicial review: neither the People nor their representatives felt empowered to enforce the Constitution because they mistakenly counted on the courts to do so. Tushnet's clarion call for a new kind of constitutional law will be essential reading for constitutional law experts, political scientists, and others interested in how and if the freedoms of the American Republic can survive into the twenty-first century.

Mark Tushnet
The Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law is an advanced level reference work which surveys the current state of constitutional law. Featuring new, specially commissioned papers by a range of leading scholars from around the world, it offers a comprehensive overview of the field as well as identifying promising avenues for future research. The book presents the key issues in constitutional law thematically allowing for a truly comparative approach to the subject. It also pays particular attention to constitutional design, identifying and evaluating various solutions to the challenges involved in constitutional architecture.

The book is split into four parts for ease of reference:

Part One: General issues "sets issues of constitutional law firmly in context including topics such as the making of constitutions, the impact of religion and culture on constitutions, and the relationship between international law and domestic constitutions.

Part Two: Structures presents different approaches in regard to institutions or state organization and structural concepts such as emergency powers and electoral systems

Part Three: Rights covers the key rights often enshrined in constitutions

Part Four: New Challenges - explores issues of importance such as migration and refugees, sovereignty under pressure from globalization, Supranational Organizations and their role in creating post-conflict constitutions, and new technological challenges.

Providing up-to-date and authoritative articles covering all the key aspects of constitutional law, this reference work is essential reading for advanced students, scholars and practitioners in the field.

Mark Tushnet
The Oxford Handbook of the U.S. Constitution offers a comprehensive overview and introduction to the U.S. Constitution from the perspectives of history, political science, law, rights, and constitutional themes, while focusing on its development, structures, rights, and role in the U.S. political system and culture. This Handbook enables readers within and beyond the U.S. to develop a critical comprehension of the literature on the Constitution, along with accessible and up-to-date analysis. The historical essays included in this Handbook cover the Constitution from 1620 right through the Reagan Revolution to the present. Essays on political science detail how contemporary citizens in the United States rely extensively on political parties, interest groups, and bureaucrats to operate a constitution designed to prevent the rise of parties, interest-group politics and an entrenched bureaucracy. The essays on law explore how contemporary citizens appear to expect and accept the exertions of power by a Supreme Court, whose members are increasingly disconnected from the world of practical politics. Essays on rights discuss how contemporary citizens living in a diverse multi-racial society seek guidance on the meaning of liberty and equality, from a Constitution designed for a society in which all politically relevant persons shared the same race, gender, religion and ethnicity. Lastly, the essays on themes explain how in a "globalized" world, people living in the United States can continue to be governed by a constitution originally meant for a society geographically separated from the rest of the "civilized world." Whether a return to the pristine constitutional institutions of the founding or a translation of these constitutional norms in the present is possible remains the central challenge of U.S. constitutionalism today.
©2017 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.