The Personal and the Political: Implications of Constitutional Entrepreneurship

NYU Journal of Law and Liberty 10(2) 2017: 587-607

22 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2015 Last revised: 15 Mar 2017

See all articles by Alexander William Salter

Alexander William Salter

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business; American Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: December 19, 2015

Abstract

This paper makes a simple but underappreciated point: due to the open-ended nature of constitutional entrepreneurship, the personal characteristics of constitutional entrepreneurs — intellect, will, virtues and vices, etc. — directly bear on constitutional change. The paper demonstrates this at a theoretical level by (a) highlighting how the environment in which constitutional entrepreneurship takes place leaves room for constitutional entrepreneurs’ personal traits to affect political-economic outcomes, and (b) exploring the nature of constitutional entrepreneurship in itself. The argument implies the study of sociopolitical institutions’ information- and incentive-aligning features must be augmented by analyses of institutions’ ‘moral filters.’ The paper concludes by outlining a personalist approach to political economy, implicit in several seemingly-unrelated literatures.

Keywords: Constitutional entrepreneurship, rational choice, robust political economy, virtue ethics

JEL Classification: A12, A13, B52, B53, P16

Suggested Citation

Salter, Alexander William, The Personal and the Political: Implications of Constitutional Entrepreneurship (December 19, 2015). NYU Journal of Law and Liberty 10(2) 2017: 587-607. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2705828 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2705828

Alexander William Salter (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business ( email )

Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

HOME PAGE: http://awsalter.com

American Institute for Economic Research

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States

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