The Elite Threat to Constitutional Transitions
Virginia Journal of International Law | University of Virginia | Published : 2016
Democratic constitutional transition conjures up images of a better farm of politics involving enhanced popular participation and rational deliberation. But what institutions should be used to create this higher farm of politics? The universal answer - focusing primarily on enhancing popular participation - argues that extraordinary institutions such as constituent assemblies and referendums are preferable to ordinary legislatures in creating this kind of elevated politics. This universal account is drawn from the theory and practice of revolutionary constitution-making in eighteenth-century America and France and its legacy in Western developed democracies today.