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03 Feb 15

How do constitutions legitimate their claim to authority? Daimler Fellow Bruce Ackerman identifies three sets of actors that play key roles in different forms of constitutional legitimation: revolutionary outsiders, established insiders, and a combination of established insiders and political elites previously excluded from the system. The revolutionary tradition is exemplified in the twentieth century by India, South Africa, and postwar France and Italy. Insider-constitutionalism can be seen in various nations of the British Commonwealth. And bargaining between insider and outsider elites played a role in Spain, Germany, Japan, and the European Union. These different pathways generate different legitimation problems – combining to create a distinctive crisis in the European Community as it confronts its future.

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