Deliberative Democracy and the Institutions of Judicial Review

Deliberative Democracy and the Institutions of Judicial Review

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In this book, Christopher F. Zurn shows why a normative theory of deliberative democratic constitutionalism yields the best understanding of the legitimacy of constitutional review. He further argues that this function should be institutionalized in a complex, multi-location structure including not only independent constitutional courts but also legislative and executive self-review that would enable interbranch constitutional dialogue and constitutional amendment through deliberative civic constitutional forums. Drawing on sustained critical analyses of diverse pluralist and deliberative democratic arguments concerning the legitimacy of judicial review, Zurn concludes that constitutional review is necessary to ensure the procedural requirements for legitimate democratic self-rule through deliberative cooperation. Claiming that pure normative theory is not sufficient to settle issues of institutional design, Zurn draws on empirical and comparative research to propose reformed institutions of constitutional review that encourage the development of fundamental law as an ongoing project of democratic deliberation and decision.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 376 pages
  • 162 x 233 x 29mm | 720g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0521867347
  • 9780521867344
  • 2,332,502

Table of contents

Part I. Introduction: 1. An old chestnut is actually two; 2. Pathologies of ad hoc triangulation; 3. Functions and institutions; Part II. Majoritarian Democracy and Minoritarian Constitutionalism: 4. Judicial review as substantially legitimate protection of minority rights; 5. Judicial review as procedurally legitimate protection of democracy; 6. Moving beyond aggregative majoritarianism and minoritarian constitutionalism; Part III. From Majoritarian to Deliberative Theories of Constitutional Democracy: 7. Deliberative democracy: four axes of analysis; 8. Constitutionalism: four central elements; 9. Constitutional democracy?; Part IV. Deliberative Democracy and Substantive Constitutionalism: 10. Keepers of the substantive flame of American exceptionalism; 11. Guardians of the moral law in the forum of principle; 12. Are substantialist defenses of judicial review self-defeating?; Part V. Disagreement and the Constitution of Democracy: 13. Democratic precommitment to judicial review: Freeman; 14. Deliberative majoritarianism and the paternalism of judicial review: Waldron; 15. Upshot: we need a theory of democratic constitutionalism; Part VI. The Seducements of Juristic Discourse as Democratic Deliberation: 16. A division of labor between juristic deliberation and populist aggregation?; 17. Actual juristic discourse in the United States system of constitutional adjudication; 18. Legal principles and moral-political reasoning; Part VII. Constitutionalism as the Procedural Structuring of Deliberative Democracy: 19. A provisional summary: criteria for an adequate theory of constitutional review; 20. Guardians of the conditions of procedural legitimacy: Habermas; Part VIII. The Institutions of Constitutional Review I: Design Problems and Judicial Review: 21. The problems of designing institutions of constitutional review; 22. Independent constitutional courts in a concentrated review system; Part IX. The Institutions of Constitutional Review II: Horizontal Dispersal and Vertical Empowerment: 23. Self-review panels in the legislature and regulatory agencies; 24. Mechanisms for inter-branch debate and decisional dispersal; 25. Easing formal amendability requirements; 26. Establishing civic constitutional fora.
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Review quote

Review of the hardback: 'The book, in short, has several merits. The main one, probably, is to refine the old discussion of judicial review in the light of an open institutional scenario, without assuming a readymade parochial design imposed by history and without ignoring the increasing empirical and comparative data about institutional performance produced in the last decades.' Cambridge Law Journal "Zurn is at his best and most interesting when engaged in exegetical analysis of the thought of others who have written on judicial review. Their work is treated fairly, engaged sympathetically, and analyzed perceptively." - James A. Gardner, University at Buffalo Law School, The Law and Politics Book Review "This book is imaginatively conceived, well written and researched, and tightly argued." - Christian Barry, Australian National University, Ethics
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About Christopher F. Zurn

Christopher F. Zurn is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Kentucky. The recipient of a Humboldt Fellowship in 2004, he has published articles on deliberative democracy, judicial review, critical theory, feminism, moral theory, and aesthetics. An article on democracy and judicial review was chosen as one of the ten best philosophy articles published in 2002 by the editors of Philosopher's Annual, vol. XXV.
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