This book examines the influence of constitutional legal paradigms upon the political stability and viability of states. It contributes to the literature in the field by focussing on how constitutional flexibility may have led to the rise of 'successful' states and to the decline of 'unsuccessful' states, by promoting stability. Divided into two parts, the book considers theories of the rise and fall of civilizations and individual states, explains the concept of hard and soft constitutions and applies this concept to different types of state models. A series of international case studies in the second part of the book identifies the key dynamics in legal, political and economic history and includes the UK, US, New Zealand and Eastern Europe.
'This is an extremely interesting analysis of the role that states' constitutions play in determining the success or failure of those states themselves. The writer's grasp of public law, international law and political and economic science, with their historical foundations and development, and his ability to weave all these into a convincing whole is most impressive and make for an absorbing read.' Derek Oulton, Magdalene College, Cambridge, UK 'Bringing to bear his expertise in constitutional law in the Commonwealth, the monarchy, religious and constitutional history from the mediaeval to the modern periods, and theories concerning the development and decline of states, Professor Cox offers both an eclectic treasure-trove of knowledge and a fully argued thesis about factors affecting the shaping and success of states. As a challenge to currently popular, doctrinaire, liberal assumptions about what makes a good state, this book will spark debate, and deserves to be read by anyone interested in the nature and life of states from the perspectives of legal, historical, social, economic or political theory.' David Feldman, University of Cambridge, UK