Lessons for emerging european constitutionalism from the United States constitution: Trigger rules

John O. McGinnis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This essay offers some lessons from the history of the United States Constitution for constitutions for emerging democracies in Eastern Europe. The United States Constitution declined in efficacy over time because special interests eroded its restraints on rent-seeking. This essay seeks to consider solutions to prevent constitutional decline. It suggests that since special interests will try to dissolve constitutional restraints, the original constitution should itself contain trigger rulers imposing new restraints when certain events occur that suggest the old restraints are weakening. Thus in this essay I suggest creating constitutional provisions to spring into effect when the consequences of constitutional decline become apparent in the polity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-50
Number of pages18
JournalJournal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Constitution of United States
  • Constitutionalism
  • European union
  • Rent seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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