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It is often argued that courts are better suited for impartial deliberation than partisan legislatures, and that this capacity justifies handing them substantial powers of judicial review. This book provides a thorough analysis of those claims, introducing the theory of deliberative capacity and its implications for institutional design.
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.
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.
Western political systems tend to be 'constitutional democracies', dividing the system into a domain of politics, where the people rule, and a domain of law, set aside for a trained elite. Antoni Abat i Ninet strives to resolve these apparently exclusive
Containing almost 200 entries from 'accountability' to the 'Westminster model' the Encyclopedia of Democratic Thought explores all the ideas that matter to democracy past, present and future. It is destined to become the first port-of-call for all students, teachers and researchers of political science interested in democratic ideas, democratic practice, and the quality of democratic governance. The Encyclopedia provides extensive coverage of all the key concepts of democratic thought written by a stellar team of distinguished international contributors. The Encyclopedia draws on every tradition of democratic thought, as well as developing new thinking, in order to provide full coverage of the key democratic concepts and engage with their practical implications for the conduct of democratic politics in the world today. In this way, it brings every kind of democratic thinking to bear on the challenges facing contemporary democracies and on the possibilities of the democratic future. The Encyclopedia is global in scope and responds in detail to the democratic revolution of recent decades. Referring both to the established democratic states of Western Europe, North America and Australasia, and to the recent democracies of Latin America, Eastern and Central Europe, Africa and Asia, classical democratic concerns are related to new democracies, and to important changes in the older democracies. Supplemented by full bibliographical information, extensive cross-referencing and suggestions for further reading, the Encyclopedia of Democratic Thought is a unique work of reference combining the expertise of many of the world's leading political scientists, political sociologists and political philosophers. It will be welcomed as an essential resource for both teaching and for independent study, and as a solid starting point both for further research and wider exploration.
A fresh examination of constitutionalism is presented by one of the nation's most respected legal scholars.
In this book Dimitrios Kyritsis advances an original account of constitutional review of primary legislation for its compatibility with human rights. Key to it is the value of separation of powers. When the relationship between courts and the legislature realizes this value, it makes a stronger claim to moral legitimacy. Kyritsis steers a path between the two extremes of the sceptics and the enthusiasts. Against sceptics who claim that constitutional review is an affront to democracy he argues that it is a morally legitimate institutional option for democratic societies because it can provide an effective check on the legislature. Although the latter represents the people and should thus be given the initiative in designing government policy, it carries serious risks, which institutional design must seek to avert. Against enthusiasts he maintains that fundamental rights protection is not the exclusive province of courts but the responsibility of both the judiciary and the legislature. Although courts may sometimes be given the power to scrutinize legislation and even strike it down, if it violates human rights, they must also respect the legislature's important contribution to their joint project. Occasionally, they may even have a duty to defer to morally sub-optimal decisions, as far as rights protection is concerned. This is as it should be. Legitimacy demands less than the ideal. In turn, citizens ought to accept discounts on perfect justice for the sake of achieving a reasonably just and effective political order overall.

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