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7.09.2010

Political Parties and Comparative Constitutional Law

Another thought inspired by reading the Constitution of Morocco:

Bruce Ackerman and others have written in the American context of how our Constitution says nothing about political parties, and the problems that has caused. Even given this, though, reading other constitutions is always enlightening because of the substantial attention it shines on just how much other constitutions talk about organizations beyond just the state, and how important these organizations are to these other constitutions.

The Constitution of Morocco, for instance, states in Article 3 that “[p]olitical parties, unions, district councils, and trade chambers shall participate in the organization and representation of the citizens. There shall be no one-party system.” I would predict that the creation and regulation of civil society groups like these groups mentioned in Article 3 is one of the main handful of topics addressed by the constitutions around the world. This is one of the many studies to conduct using the new dataset of constitutions created by Elkins, Ginsburg and Melton. The earlier constitutions, led by the eighteenth century American Constitution, focus on the formal institutions of The Constitution of Morocco, for instance, states in Article 3 that “[p]olitical parties, unions, district councils, and trade chambers shall participate in the organization and representation of the citizens. There shall be no one-party system.” I would predict that the creation and regulation of civil society groups like these groups mentioned in Article 3 is one of the main handful of topics addressed by the constitutions around the world. This is one of the many studies to conduct using the new dataset of constitutions created by Elkins, Ginsburg and Melton. The earlier constitutions, led by the eighteenth century American Constitution, focus on the formal institutions of the state (the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary). Later constitutions--particularly post-World War II constitutions--tend to focus on political parties and sometimes even other civil society groups.

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