The Politics of Constitutional Rights

25 Pages Posted: 3 May 2022

See all articles by Adam Chilton

Adam Chilton

University of Chicago - Law School

Mila Versteeg

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: April 29, 2022

Abstract

Since World War II, the median number of rights enshrined in national constitutions has more than doubled. Because scholars have largely cheered on this development for normative reasons, it is easy to overlook the political calculations that motivate the adoption and enforcement of constitutional rights. In this chapter, we survey some of the existing qualitative and quantitative research on three topics related to the politics of constitutional rights: (i) why countries adopt constitutional rights; (ii) whether constitutionally protecting rights increases respect for those rights in practice; and (iii) whether the proliferation of rights in constitutions might decrease the overall protection of rights. In doing so, we hope to paint a more accurate picture of the adoption and enforcement of rights than the one that emerges from constitutional theory alone.

Keywords: Constitutional Rights, Constitutional Law, Comparative Constitutional Studies, Human Rights

Suggested Citation

Chilton, Adam and Versteeg, Mila, The Politics of Constitutional Rights (April 29, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4097074 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4097074

Adam Chilton (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.adamchilton.org

Mila Versteeg

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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