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Part II Political Science, Ch.7 Constitutions as Basic Structure

Neil Komesar

From: The Oxford Handbook of the U.S. Constitution

Edited By: Mark Tushnet, Sanford Levinson, Mark A. Graber

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 27 January 2021

The subject of constitutions as basic structure evokes profound analytical questions. The most basic of these raise issues of causation and, in particular, the direction of causation. Constitutions set out the rules of the game. They design the decision-making structure of the political process. Here the causation seems simple enough. The political action of the populace—what I will refer to here as the dynamics of participation—is a function of the institutional design contained in the constitution. But it is quite possible that the opposite causation is more...
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