Constitutional Craftsmanship and the Rule of Law: Organizational Arrangement, Moral Imagination, and the Separation of Powers

28 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2013

See all articles by Shruti Rajagopalan

Shruti Rajagopalan

Department of Economics, SUNY Purchase College; Classical Liberal Institute, NYU School of Law

Richard E. Wagner

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: April 15, 2013

Abstract

Is "rule of law" anything more than a fictional allusion? After all, "law" is an abstract noun, and abstract nouns can't rule. Only people can rule. Rule of law is a fiction, one that has been around since ancient times. Whether, or under what circumstances, rule of law might be an ideal type rather than just a convenient fiction is the topic of this paper. For rule of law to be an ideal type that plausibly describes actual practice, it is necessary for governance to follow polycentric principles. This paper explores whether there are constitutional arrangements under which it could reasonably be claimed that governance reflects a deep level operation of a rule of law despite the surface level recognition rulership can be exercised only by people.

Keywords: rule of law, separation of powers, constitutional political economy, moral imagination, ordnungstheorie, polycentrism

JEL Classification: D85, K10, K40, P48

Suggested Citation

Rajagopalan, Shruti and Wagner, Richard E., Constitutional Craftsmanship and the Rule of Law: Organizational Arrangement, Moral Imagination, and the Separation of Powers (April 15, 2013). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 13-08, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2250935 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2250935

Shruti Rajagopalan

Department of Economics, SUNY Purchase College ( email )

735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
United States

Classical Liberal Institute, NYU School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

Richard E. Wagner (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
334 Enterprise Hall
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
(703) 993-1132 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~rwagner/

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ppe.mercatus.org/scholars/richard-wagner

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