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The Cult of Constitutionalism

By Richard Albert


Constitutionalism compels and constrains all dimensions of our everyday lives in ways large and small that we often do not fully appreciate—perhaps because constitutions take many forms that we do not generally associate with constitutionalism. From the arts, sports, trade, entertainment, politics, and war, constitutionalism is both the point of departure and the port of call. In this Article, I explore whether and how we might distinguish among these seemingly infinite types of constitutions. First, I critique conventional distinctions separating public from private constitutions, and international from national and local constitutions. Then, I build on that deconstructive exercise to propose a theory of constitutionalism that distinguishes between constitutional basics and constitutional virtues. I subsequently undertake a comparative inquiry, applying this new model of constitutionalism to ask on what basis we might distinguish between a constitution of a nation from a constitution of a private organization

Topics: Comparative and Foreign Law, Constitutional Law, Jurisprudence
Publisher: Digital Commons @ Boston College Law School
Year: 2012
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