Book Review of Beau Breslin, 'From Words to Worlds: Exploring Constitutional Functionality'
Robert L. Tsai
American University - Washington College of Law
October 12, 2010
Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 1226-1228
American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2010-26
This is a review of Beau Breslin's book, "From Words to Worlds: Exploring Constitutional Functionality" (Johns Hopkins, 2009). As an antidote to what he believes to be scholarly marginalization of the "unique" aspects of a written constitution, Breslin focuses attention on seven functions of such a legal text: transforming existing orders, conveying collective aspirations, designing institutions, mediating conflict, recognizing claims of subnational communities, empowering social actors, and constraining governmental authority. This review briefly critiques Breslin's functional approach and discusses two of the more pressing goals of modern constitutionalism: managing social conflict and preserving cultural heritage.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 4
Keywords: Constitution, Comparative Law, Politics, Social Conflict, Culture, Liberalism, Rights, Institutional Design
JEL Classification: K1, K4
Date posted: August 13, 2010 ; Last revised: October 21, 2010