Constitutions, Populations and Demographic Change
in: Mark Tushnet, Thomas Fleiner and Cheryl Saunders (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law, (Routledge, 2012), Ch 35
20 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2012
Date Written: November 4, 2012
This chapter examines the ways in which constitutions reflect and respond to population change. This reflexive relationship is examined across four domains — the political domain addresses structural issues about government and representation; the socio-economic domain considers individuals’ decision making about fertility, mortality and migration; the ethno-cultural domain examines issues of demographic composition and ethnic diversity; and the scientific domain explores ways in which governments acquire knowledge about populations through national censuses and other means. The relationship between constitutions and populations is complex, but it deserves more attention than it has often received. If constitutions are to provide sound architectures for the governance of people far into the future, they need to have population dynamics firmly in mind in their design and subsequent evolution.
Keywords: constitutions, population, size of legislature, electoral representation, formation of states, federations, fertility, mortality, and migration, ethnic diversity, census, vital registers, national statistical institutes
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation