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The Citizen as Founder: Public Participation in Constitutional Approval

21 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2011 Last revised: 14 Aug 2011

Tom Ginsburg

University of Chicago Law School

Zachary Elkins

University of Texas, Austin

Justin Blount

University of Illinois at Chicago

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

Public involvement in constitution making is increasingly considered to be essential for the legitimacy and effectiveness of the process. It is also becoming more widespread, spurred on by constitutional advisors and the international community. Yet we have remarkably little empirical evidence of the impact of participation on outcomes. This essay reports hypotheses on the effect of one aspect of public participation in the constitution-making process - ratification - and surveys available evidence. We find some limited support for the optimistic view about the impact of ratification on legitimacy, conflict, and constitutional endurance.

Suggested Citation

Ginsburg, Tom and Elkins, Zachary and Blount, Justin, The Citizen as Founder: Public Participation in Constitutional Approval (2008). Temple Law Review, Vol. 81, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1907753

Tom Ginsburg (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Zachary Elkins

University of Texas, Austin ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

Justin Blount

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

1200 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60607
United States

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