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Strong ConstitutionsSocial-Cognitive Origins of the Separation of Powers$
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Maxwell Cameron

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199987443

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199987443.001.0001

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Beyond Liberalism: Language, Law, and Deliberation

Beyond Liberalism: Language, Law, and Deliberation

(p.141) 6 Beyond Liberalism: Language, Law, and Deliberation
Strong Constitutions

Maxwell A. Cameron

Oxford University Press

The electoral theory of democracy relegated the separation of powers to the status of legal doctrine rather than theory. Liberals like Hayek attempted to retain an emphasis on constitutionalism and the rule of law, but were hobbled by a view of lawmaking that provided an insufficient place for writing, criticism, and deliberate collective choices over institutions. The reunification of the theory of democracy and the separation of powers within a social scientific approach that acknowledges the critical importance of language and law required the work of theorists of deliberative democracy for whom there is an internal connection between democracy and constitutionalism. Democracy is a system in which those in power must provide reasons for their actions and defend them against criticism, and this demands separate branches of government. Habermas is at the center of this project, and his contribution is critically assessed in light of the social cognitive theory.

Keywords:   Liberalism, deliberative democracy, Habermas, Hayek, constitutionalism, the rule of law

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