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date: 22 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In most countries, constitutions come and go more often than one might expect or prefer. In recent years, scholars have begun to advance theories to understand the life expectancy of these important documents. This chapter distills and reports on a set of theoretical and empirical insights derived from an historical investigation of constitutional transitions. Specifically, the chapter addresses four sets of questions regarding such transitions. The first set of questions is conceptual (transitions of what, exactly?), the second descriptive (transitions when, where, and how often?), the third explanatory (why and how?), and the fourth is normative (transitions with what consequences?). A background implication of frequent constitutional turnover is that the business of constitutional advising is more relevant than one may expect, and probably deserves more consideration.

Keywords: constitution, transition, endurance, institutional stability, constitutional history, constitutional crisis

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