The Endurance of National Constitutions

by Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg, James Melton

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780521515504
  • 9780511636530
  • 9780511700156
Constitutions are supposed to provide an enduring structure for politics. Yet only half live more than nine years. Why is it that some constitutions endure while others do not? In The Endurance of National Constitutions Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg and James Melton examine the causes of constitutional endurance from an institutional perspective. Supported by an original set of cross-national historical data, theirs is the first comprehensive study of constitutional mortality. They show that whereas constitutions are imperilled by social and political crises, certain aspects of a constitution's design can lower the risk of death substantially. Thus, to the extent that endurance is desirable - a question that the authors also subject to scrutiny - the decisions of founders take on added importance.

  • Cambridge University Press; October 2009
  • ISBN: 9780511636530
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: The Endurance of National Constitutions
  • Author: Zachary Elkins; Tom Ginsburg; James Melton
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780521515504
  • 9780511636530
  • 9780511700156

In The Press

“This book had the same effect on me as reading Goran Therborn’s 1977 New Left Review paper on the history and origins of Democracy. I found it hard to put down and impossible to stop thinking about. It is an agenda setting work which will hugely influence comparative politics.”
--James Robinson, Professor of Government, Harvard University and faculty associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780521515504
  • 9780511636530
  • 9780511700156