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Liberalism, Constitutionalism, and Democracy$
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Russell Hardin

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198290841

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198290845.001.0001

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Constitutionalism: Contract or Coordination?

Constitutionalism: Contract or Coordination?

Chapter:
(p.82) 3 Constitutionalism: Contract or Coordination?
Source:
Liberalism, Constitutionalism, and Democracy
Author(s):

Russell Hardin (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198290845.003.0003

Constitutionalism requires merely coordination on big issues of general structure and protections; coordination on any detailed program is virtually out of the question. It works at all only if there is relatively wide agreement on core issues, such as the agreement of the American political elite on the need for something like the Commerce Clause to enable the growth of an American economy through the creation of an open American market under the US Constitution. In polities in which there is no such general agreement, constitutionalism cannot work well. Indeed, it is plausible that the only government that can “work” in many contexts is authoritarian government.

Keywords:   Commerce Clause, constitutionalism, contract, coordination, market, US constitution

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