Cover: Constitutional Coup: Privatization’s Threat to the American Republic, from Harvard University PressCover: Constitutional Coup in HARDCOVER

Constitutional Coup

Privatization’s Threat to the American Republic

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Product Details


$35.00 • £25.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674737730

Publication: October 2017


320 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


I encourage anyone interested in the administrative state, separation of powers, or privatization to read this book.—Sasha Volokh, The Washington Post

In his book, Constitutional Coup, [Michaels] argues that our professional bureaucracies are essential to America’s democracy… The true strength of Michaels’s book is reminding us why we have administrative government in the first place… Michaels provides a useful reframing of what business-like government really means.—Joshua Alvarez, Washington Monthly

A truly fundamental contribution to constitutional thought, especially important at a moment when the Trump presidency is escalating the privatization of American government.—Bruce Ackerman, author of The Decline and Fall of the American Republic

Constitutional Coup offers a learned, lucid, and important argument about the relationship between privatization, constitutional structure, and public values. Defenders and critics of the contemporary administrative state alike will profit from engaging with Michaels’s innovative work.—Jeffrey A. Pojanowski, Notre Dame Law School

Jon Michaels has identified a key aspect of the modern state, its increasing delegation to private businesses of fundamental tasks historically associated with governance. What is fresh and compelling about his book is his elaboration of the truly constitutional dimensions of these developments.—Sanford Levinson, author of Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance