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Creating a Constitution

Law, Democracy, and Growth in Ancient Athens

Federica Carugati

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Princeton University Press img Link Publisher

Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte

Beschreibung

A comprehensive account of how the Athenian constitution was created—with lessons for contemporary constitution-building

We live in an era of constitution-making. More than half of the world's constitutions have been drafted in the past half-century. Yet, one question still eludes theorists and practitioners alike: how do stable, growth-enhancing constitutional structures emerge and endure? In Creating a Constitution, Federica Carugati argues that ancient Athens offers a unique laboratory for exploring this question. Because the city-state was reasonably well-documented, smaller than most modern nations, and simpler in its institutional makeup, the case of Athens reveals key factors of successful constitution-making that are hard to flesh out in more complex settings.

Carugati demonstrates that the institutional changes Athens undertook in the late fifth century BCE, after a period of war and internal strife, amounted to a de facto constitution. The constitution restored stability and allowed the democracy to flourish anew. The analysis of Athens's case reveals the importance of three factors for creating a successful constitution: first, a consensus on a set of shared values capable of commanding long-term support; second, a self-enforcing institutional structure that reflects those values; and, third, regulatory mechanisms for policymaking that enable tradeoffs of inclusion to foster growth without jeopardizing stability.

Uniquely combining institutional analysis, political economy, and history, Creating a Constitution is a compelling account of how political and economic goals that we normally associate with Western developed countries were once achieved through different institutional arrangements.

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Peace treaty, Tax, Case study, The Oligarchs, Hostility, Peloponnesian War, Infrastructure, Thrasybulus, Delian League, Politeia, Median voter theorem, Thucydides, Rule of law, Eastern Mediterranean, Indictment, Saronic Gulf, Periodization, Participatory democracy, Citizenship, Political economy, Civil war, Persecution, Gulf of Corinth, Institution, Constitutional crisis, Democracy, Oligarchy, Isagoras, Radical democracy, Economic policy, Proxeny, Income, De facto, Economic growth, Fiscal policy, Diolkos, Foreign policy, Oxford University Press, Why Nations Fail, Result, Voting, New Laws, Decree, Participant, Politics, Prediction, The Other Hand, Athenian Democracy, Failed state, Greeks, Expropriation, Polis, Myanmar, Peloponnese, Ratification, Hegemony, State formation, Demosthenes, Megara, Publication, Unrest, Slavery, Authoritarianism, Cambridge University Press, Sovereignty, Prosecutor, The Persians, Piracy, Aegina, Tyrant, Adjudication, Decision-making, Metic, Battle of Arginusae, Exclusion, Governance, Dokimasia, Lawmaking, Trireme, Isocrates, Ancient Greece, Obstacle, Wealth, Calculation, Literature, Political science, Economics, Public institution (United States), City-state, Legislation, Statute, War, Corinthian War, Representative democracy, Archaic Greece, Politician, Economic development, Legitimacy (political), Trade-off, Land grant