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 18: Theorising about formal constitutional change: the case of Latin America

Joel I. Colón-Riós


Abstract: This chapter has two main objectives. First, to propose a typology of the rules of change found in Latin American constitutions. These rules are not presented as a representative sample of those contained in the world’s constitutions, but their diversity reflects, to a certain extent, those present in other regions. The second objective of the chapter is to consider the possible theoretical basis of the categories identified in the previously mentioned typology. In advancing this second objective, I will consider these rules from the perspective of what may be termed modern constitutional theory. Modern constitutional theory looks at formal constitutional change through the lens of three main distinctions: the distinction between the constituent and the amending power, between the legislature and the people, and between amendment and replacement.

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