Eighty new constitutions, more than half of the written national constitutions in effect, have been written and adopted just since 1974, an average of more than five a year. At a time when the United States is observing the two-hundreth anniversary of its Constitution, the median age of all constitutions in the world is less than fifteen years. Never before have so many living constitution makers, in so many different kinds of regimes, been still active and capable of telling the story, firsthand, of how their nation's constitution was made.
In eight pairs of papers, written from differing perspectivies, this book tells the story of the writing of the constitutions of France, Greece, the United States, Yugoslavia, Spain, Egypt, Venezuela, and Nigeria. It also includes an analysis by constitutional experts from twenty countries of how to put into practice the principles of constitutionalism--political liberty, security of rights, and self-government.
Americans are accustomed to thinking of constitution writing as something done hundreds of years ago by bewigged gentlemen wearing frock coats, knee breeches, and white stockings. But for the rest of the world, constitution writing is very much an activity of the present day. The Constitution of the United States is now more than 200 hundred years old, but most of the other constitutions in the world are less than fifteen years old. That is, of the 160 or so national written constitutions in the world, more than half have been written since 1974.
Robert A. Goldwin (editor)
Robert A. Goldwin is resident scholar and codirector of constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He has served in the White House as special consultant to the president and, concurrently, as adviser to the secretary of defense. He has taught at the University of Chicago and at Kenyon College and was dean of St. John's College in Annapolis. He is the editor of a score of books on American politics, coeditor of the AEI series of volumes on the Constitution, and author of numerous articles, including "Why Blacks, Women, and Jews Are Not Mentioned in the Constitution" and "Of Men and Angels:"A Search for Morality in the Constitution.
Art Kaufman (editor)
Art Kaufman is a research assistant in the Department of Government at Georgetown University. He has served as acting director of educational programs at the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, assistant director of constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute, program officer at the Institute for Educational Affairs, and assistant editor of The Public Interest magazine. He has taught constitutional law at the Catholic University of America and is coeditor, with Robert A. Goldwin, of Separation of Powers:Does It Still Work?, published by AEI.