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Part II Negotiating Constitutionalism, Ch.8 Constitutional Change: a public choice analysis

Shruti Rajagopalan

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution

Edited By: Sujit Choudhry, Madhav Khosla, Pratap Bhanu Mehta

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 31 October 2020

This chapter examines the patterns of amendments to the Indian Constitution, especially to the fundamental rights, throughout the country’s constitutional history. Instead of resorting to conventional doctrinal analysis, the discussion focuses on the issue of constitutional design by highlighting the costs and benefits imposed by different constitutional rules. It presents an analytical framework for constitutional amendments in order to elucidate the interaction of constitutional rules, along with the increase in the relative price of seeking formal amendments to the Constitution and how this has incentivised interest groups to seek rule changes through the judiciary. It explains how revisions in substantive and procedural rules changed the costs and benefits of amending the Indian Constitution, forcing interest groups to shift the form and forum while seeking rule change.

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