Postmaterialist Social Constituencies and Political Triggers: Explaining Bill of Rights Genesis in Internally Stable, Advanced Democracies

Political Research Quarterly, 2009

40 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011

See all articles by David Erdos

David Erdos

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law; Trinity Hall

Date Written: December 1, 2009

Abstract

This paper forwards a new Postmaterialist Trigger Theory (PTT) of the origins of bills of rights in stable, advanced democracies. Socially, such projects are linked to the postmaterialist growth of ‘cultural left’ forces such as civil libertarians and social equality seekers. Additionally, a focusing trigger providing an immediate political rationale for change is also generally required. This trigger determines the precise timing of any change and also influences its shape. Such a trigger need not be strategic or prospective in nature. Instead, political elites may embrace bill of rights genesis as part of a backward-looking 'aversive' reaction to prior negative political experiences during opposition.

Keywords: Canada, United Kingdom, human rights, bills of rights, postmaterialism, left liberalism, political triggers, social equality, civil liberty

Suggested Citation

Erdos, David, Postmaterialist Social Constituencies and Political Triggers: Explaining Bill of Rights Genesis in Internally Stable, Advanced Democracies (December 1, 2009). Political Research Quarterly, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1766022

David Erdos (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.cam.ac.uk/people/academic/d-o-erdos/5972

Trinity Hall ( email )

University of Cambridge
Trinity Lane
Cambridge, CB2 1TJ
United Kingdom

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