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date: 10 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The optimal constitution is classical liberal in form with a commitment to private property and limited government. These principles are not absolutes, and must yield to the need for the public control of force, fraud, and monopoly. This distribution of public and private rights is best understood by comparison to organizations like corporations and planned unit developments. This chapter identifies the mechanisms that corporate organizers and property developers use to attract and keep outside capital, noting the role structural protections and protections for individual rights. It examines how these mechanisms carry over to political institutions along two key axes—one dealing with the difference between unitary and federalist systems, and the other between presidential and parliamentary systems. It concludes that developing any general theory about the structural constitution as regards individual rights depends on the size, shape, and ethnic and regional differences within the polity.

Keywords: optimal constitution, corporations, factions, planned unit developments, public goods, structural protection, individual rights

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