Constitutional Democracy

Constitutional Democracy

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Constitutional Democracy systematically examines how the basic constitutional structure of governments affects what they can accomplish. This relationship is especially important at a time when Americans are increasingly disillusioned about government's fundamental ability to reach solutions for domestic problems, and when countries in the former Soviet bloc and around the world are rewriting their constitutions. Political economist Mueller illuminates the links between the structure of democratic government and the outcomes it achieves by drawing comparisons between the American system and other government systems around the world. Working from the "public choice" perspective in political science, the book analyses electoral rules, voting rules, federalism, bicameralism, citizenship, and separation of powers.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 394 pages
  • 160.5 x 232.7 x 32mm | 816.48g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • line figures, tables
  • 019509588X
  • 9780195095883

Back cover copy

Dennis C. Mueller illuminates the links between the structure of democratic government and the outcomes it achieves by drawing comparisons between American and foreign government systems. The questions examined are not what constitutions have been written, but rather what constitution should be written to advance a community's interests. The book explores the major issues a polity faces when drafting a constitution: Is a two-party or a multi-party system better? Should it adopt federalism? Bicameralism? Should the executive and legislative functions be combined? What role should the judiciary play? How should citizenship be defined? Addressing these questions and much more, Constitutional Democracy is a comprehensive and up-to-date normative analysis of these issues. Provocative and intriguing, this work will be of great interest to scholars and students of political science, economics and law.
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Table of contents

PART I: THE PROBLEM ; 1. Democracy in America ; 2. Democracy in Other Parts of the World ; PART II: THE CONSTITUTIONAL PERSPECTIVE ; 3. The Constitutional Premise ; 4. Why Have Government? ; 5. The Nature of a Constitution ; PART III: INSTITUTIONS TO REVEAL AND ADVANCE A COMMUNITY'S INTERESTS ; 6. Federalism ; 7. Direct Democracy ; 8. Representative Democracy - Proportional Representation ; 9. Representative Democracy - Two-Party Government ; 10. The Two Systems Compared ; 11. The Parliamentary Voting Rule ; PART IV: INSTITUTIONS TO CONSTRAIN GOVERNMENT ; 12. The Referendum ; 13. Bicameralism ; 14. Rights ; 15. The Market and the State ; 16. Redistribution ; 17. The Executive Branch ; 18. Dictatorship ; 19. The Judiciary ; PART V: GETTING STARTED ; 20. Citizenship ; 21. The Constitutional Convention ; PART VI: COMING TO AN END ; 22. Epilogue
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Review quote

Well informed and well written. I strongly recommend it for courses on constitutional democracy at law schools and in political science, economics and philosophy departments. H. Kliemt, Public choice 1999.
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About Dennis C. Mueller

Dennis C. Mueller is Professor of Economics at the University of Vienna.
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