Book Review of Beau Breslin, 'From Words to Worlds: Exploring Constitutional Functionality'

Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 1226-1228

American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2010-26

4 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2010 Last revised: 21 Oct 2010

Robert L. Tsai

American University - Washington College of Law

Date Written: October 12, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Constitution, Comparative Law, Politics, Social Conflict, Culture, Liberalism, Rights, Institutional Design

JEL Classification: K1, K4

Suggested Citation

Tsai, Robert L., Book Review of Beau Breslin, 'From Words to Worlds: Exploring Constitutional Functionality' (October 12, 2010). Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 1226-1228; American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2010-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1657892

Robert L. Tsai (Contact Author)

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20016
United States
202.274.4370 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wcl.american.edu/faculty/rtsai/

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