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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines how social movements, as institutions of civil society, have affected the development and interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. It first provides an overview of social movements and their relationship with interest groups and political parties before turning to a discussion of social movements’ three mechanisms of influence: direct effects, effects through the political parties, and effects through cultural change. It then considers the social movements’ influence on courts through litigation campaigns, as well as the normative dimension and significance of social movements, and concludes by assessing the complex ways in which they influence the development of constitutional law as well as constitutional interpretation.

Keywords: social movements, civil society, Constitution, interest groups, political parties, cultural change, courts, litigation campaigns, constitutional law, constitutional interpretation

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