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
Date Written: December 19, 2015
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: Suggested Citation