James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 4. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 710–715.
Posted: 24 Apr 2015
Date Written: April 22, 2015
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles, norms, and laws that govern a political or other organization. The term can refer either to a body of rules and practices that establish the elements of government and allocate government power, or to a foundational written document designed to do the same. Modern national written constitutions generally contain several key elements, including a bill of rights, a division of powers between government entities, and a claim to supremacy over other sources of internal law. The primary functions of constitutions may include intra-government coordination, rule precommitment, solidifying power, articulating national identity, and signaling to international audiences.
Keywords: Constitutions, Delegation of Power: Agency Theory; Democratic Theory; Political Efficacy; Governments; Institutionalism; Theory of State Formation
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