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  • Series: Elgar Monographs in Constitutional and Administrative Law series x
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The Arab Spring

An Essay on Revolution and Constitutionalism

Antoni Abat i Ninet and Mark Tushnet

Approaching the concept of Islamic constitutionalism from a comparative perspective, this thought-provoking study by Antoni Abat i Ninet and Mark Tushnet uses traditional Western political theory as a lens to develop a framework for analyzing the events known as the ‘Arab Spring’. Writing with clarity and insight, the authors place Western and Arabic traditions into a constructive dialogue. They focus on whether we can develop a ‘theory of revolutions’ that helps us understand events occurring at divergent times at geographically separate locations.
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Citizen Journalists

Newer Media, Republican Moments and the Constitution

Ian Cram

This monograph explores the phenomenon of ‘citizen journalism’ from a legal and constitutional perspective. It describes and evaluates emerging patterns of communication between a new and diverse set of speakers and their audiences. Drawing upon political theory, the book considers the extent to which the constitutional and legal frameworks of modern liberal states allow for a ‘contestatory space’ that advances the scope for non-traditional speakers to participate in policy debates and to hold elites to account.
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Sofia Ranchordás

This innovative book explores the nature and function of ‘sunset clauses’ and experimental legislation, or temporary legislation that expires after a determined period of time, allowing legislators to test out new rules and regulations within a set time frame and on a small-scale basis. Sofia Ranchordás presents a thorough analysis of sunset clauses and experimental legislation from a comparative perspective, and offers a clear legal framework for their implementation.
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Francois Venter

This topical book examines how the goals of constitutionalism – good and fair government – are addressed at a time when the multi-religious composition of countries’ populations has never before been so pronounced.
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American Judicial Power

The State Court Perspective

Michael Buenger and Paul J. De Muniz

American Judicial Power: The State Court Perspective is a welcome addition to the breadth of studies on the American legal system and provides an accessible and highly illuminating overview of the state courts and their functions.
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Constitutional Preambles

A Comparative Analysis

Wim Voermans, Maarten Stremler and Paul Cliteur

While their use and significance have increased in recent decades, constitutional preambles have received only scant attention in academic literature. This presents a uniquely quantitative and qualitative analysis of all the preambles currently in force around the world and addresses fascinating questions concerning their occurrence, content, style, function and legal status. Studying preambles not only helps us understand the phenomenon itself, but also teaches us more about constitutions and the constitutional systems in which they are situated.
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Preambles: a stocktaking

A Comparative Analysis

Wim Voermans, Maarten Stremler and Paul Cliteur

This chapter begins with a short history of preambles in general, and discusses their use (dating back to Plato at least). After thus having placed constitutional preambles in their historical context, it contrasts them with other types of preambles: preambles to ordinary legislation, to international treaties and to EU directives and regulations. Next, it delineates the notion of a constitutional preamble more precisely and describes the sample of constitutional preambles used for the analysis, including some of its basic statistical characteristics, for example the percentage of constitutions that do have a preamble and the average length of preambles.

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The content of preambles

A Comparative Analysis

Wim Voermans, Maarten Stremler and Paul Cliteur

This chapter takes a close look at the content of constitutional preambles. Given their great variety, it is not possible to classify preambles strictly. Nevertheless, groups of preambles share certain substantive features, like a reference to God or religion. This chapter charts a number of these features, calling them ‘elements’. The chapter distinguishes three categories of elements: elements that relate to the general structure of the constitutional system set out in the main part of the constitutional document, elements that relate to fundamental rights, in the broad sense of the word, and elements that relate to national characteristics. For each element, the chapter describes its frequency, analyses possible trends and discusses salient characteristics.

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The language of preambles

A Comparative Analysis

Wim Voermans, Maarten Stremler and Paul Cliteur

This chapter addresses the question who are the authors of the preamble and who its addressees. It also analyses the different styles of preambles, that is, the particular language in which they are formulated, distinguishing between legal language, solemn language and plain language. These different styles are illustrated with examples.

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The functions of preambles

A Comparative Analysis

Wim Voermans, Maarten Stremler and Paul Cliteur

This chapter discusses the different functions constitutional preambles possibly perform. It begins with an overview of their legal functions, but the focus is on their non-legal functions. The chapter differentiates between an expressive, evocative, identifying and educational function and also discusses the role of preambles as a ‘bridge in time’ – between the past, the present and the future. Based on examples, the chapter also discusses whether and how preambles can be amended and cases where preambles have been the subject of political conflict.