Comparative Constitutional Theory
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Comparative Constitutional Theory

Edited by Gary Jacobsohn and Miguel Schor

The need for innovative thinking about alternative constitutional experiences is evident, and readers of Comparative Constitutional Theory will find in its pages a compendium of original, theory-driven essays. The authors use a variety of theoretical perspectives to explore the diversity of global constitutional experience in a post-1989 world prominently marked by momentous transitions from authoritarianism to democracy, by multiple constitutional revolutions and devolutions, by the increased penetration of international law into national jurisdictions, and by the enhancement of supra-national institutions of governance.
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Chapter 4: Theoretical underpinnings of separation of powers

Cheryl Saunders


Abstract: This chapter examines how constitutional theory informs constitutional arrangements that provide for separation of powers, with a view to better understanding the significance of constitutional theory for comparative constitutional law. Separation of powers is a useful vehicle for the purpose. As a principle, it is recognized and applied in constitutional systems across the world, as a consequence of processes of migration, which continue. In practice, it is given effect through a variety of institutional forms, partly reflecting variations in purpose. With particular reference to the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, the chapter shows how theory underpins institutional differences, which in turn generates new lines of theoretical inquiry. To this extent, the chapter therefore shows that constitutional theory may be relevant for the purposes of constitutional comparison and that theories, like other constitutional phenomena, may vary between jurisdictions and over time.

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