Theorizing the Foreign Affairs Constitution

Posted: 2 Feb 2012

See all articles by Thomas H. Lee

Thomas H. Lee

Fordham University School of Law

Date Written: January 31, 2012


This article applies international relations theory to derive estimates of the U.S. Constitution's provisions pertaining to foreign relations that Americans would have created in light of the United States' militarily weak condition at the time of founding. It then questions the value of originalism as a technique of constitutional interpretation with respect to the foreign affairs Constitution given the dramatic change in the world power status of the United States.

Keywords: Constitution, foreign relations, foreign affairs, originalism, international relations theory

JEL Classification: K00, K33

Suggested Citation

Lee, Thomas H., Theorizing the Foreign Affairs Constitution (January 31, 2012). Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1996734. Available at SSRN: or

Thomas H. Lee (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

150 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
212.636.6728 (Phone)

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