Engineering Constitutional Change : A Comparative Perspective on Europe, Canada and the USA book cover
1st Edition

Engineering Constitutional Change
A Comparative Perspective on Europe, Canada and the USA

Edited By

Xenophon Contiades

ISBN 9781138659148
Published March 3, 2016 by Routledge
488 Pages

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Book Description

This volume provides a holistic presentation of the reality of constitutional change in 18 countries (the 15 old EU member states, Canada, Switzerland and the USA). The essays offer analysis on formal and informal constitutional amendment bringing forth the overall picture of the parallel paths constitutional change follows, in correlation to what the constitution means and how constitutional law works. To capture the patterns of constitutional change, multi-faceted parameters are explored such as the interrelations between form of government, party system, and constitutional amendment; the interplay between constitutional change and the system of constitutionality review; the role of the people, civil society, and experts in constitutional change; and the influence of international and European law and jurisprudence on constitutional reform and evolution. In the extensive final, comparative chapter, key features of each country’s amendment procedures are epitomized and the mechanisms of constitutional change are explained on the basis of introducing five distinct models of constitutional change. The concept of constitutional rigidity is re-approached and broken down to a set of factual and institutional rigidities. The classification of countries within models, in accordance with the way in which operative amending mechanisms connect, leads to a succinct portrayal of different modes of constitutional change engineering. 

This book will prove to be an invaluable tool for approaching constitutional revision either for theoretical or for practical purposes and will be of particular interest to students and scholars of constitutional, comparative and public law.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part 1: Constitutional Amendment in Europe, Canada and the USA  1. Constitutional Change Engineering, Xenophon Contiades  2. Constitutional Change in Austria, Manfred Stelzer  3. The Process of Constitutional Amendment in Belgium, Christian Behrendt  4. Constitutional Change and Constitutional Amendment: A Canadian Conundrum, Allan C. Hutchinson   5. Formal and Informal Methods of Constitutional Change in Denmark, Helle Krunke  6. Constitutional Amendment in Finland, Tuomas Ojanen  7. Constitutional Amendment in France, Wanda Mastor and Liliane Icher  8. Constitutional Amendments and Constitutional Changes in Germany, Markus Kotzur 9. Constitutional Change in Greece, Xenophon Contiades and Ioannis Tasopoulos  10. Constitutional Amendment in Ireland, Fiona de Londras and David Gwynn Morgan  11. Constitutional Revision in Italy: A Marginal Instrument for Constitutional Change, Tania Groppi  12. Constitutional Amendment in Luxembourg, Jörg Gerkrath  13. , The Constitutional Revision Process in the Netherlands: Sensible Security Valve or Cause of Constitutional Paralysis? , Wim J.M. Voermans  14. The Portuguese Constitution of 1976: Half-life and Decay , Jonatas E. M. Machado  15. Constitutional Change in Spain, Abraham Barrero Ortega and Irene Sobrino Guijarro  16. Constitutional Amendment in Sweden, Lars-Göran Malmberg  17. Constitutional Revision: The Case of Switzerland, Thomas Fleiner 18. Constitutional Amendment in the United Kingdom, Robert Blackburn  19. Constitutional Revision in the United States of America, John R. Vile  Part 2: Comparative Perspectives 20. Models of Constitutional Change, Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou


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Xenophon Contiades is Professor of Public Law and Dean, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Peloponnese, Director of the Centre for European Constitutional Law (Athens-Greece), and member of the Scientific Council of the Institute for European Constitutional Sciences (Hagen-Germany).