Cover: Against Constitutionalism, from Harvard University PressCover: Against Constitutionalism in HARDCOVER

Against Constitutionalism

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$39.95 • £34.95 • €36.95

ISBN 9780674268029

Publication Date: 05/17/2022


240 pages

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


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[This book] brilliantly targets the principal legal dogma of the past 40 years: that well-ordered societies need elite protection from democracy, not least for the sake of rights. It isn’t, Loughlin contends, just that the juristocratic turn has elicited popular backlash while harmonising with economic liberalism. It has increasingly undone self-government.—Samuel Moyn, New Statesman

A tightly-presented but far-ranging survey of both legal theory and practical example, Against Constitutionalism is a thoughtful and thought-provoking introduction to and analysis of the subject-matter.Complete Review

Provocative… Loughlin is highly critical of the juridification of politics and identifies the EU as one of the main culprits in this process… Loughlin’s key aim is thus to defend constitutional democracy against constitutionalism—a task that can only be pursued at local and national level against the hubris of ‘the cosmopolitan project.—Stefan Auer, Contemporary Political Theory

The United States is in the grip of an ideology. Constitutionalism, a distinctive philosophy of governance, has quietly come to dominate and be taken for granted. So argues Against Constitutionalism, Loughlin’s ambitious account of how constitutionalism emerged, developed, and spread. The book’s central insight is that constitutionalism is not an empty vessel into which other commitments can be poured, but rather that it has its own values, logic, and normative commitments.—Jonathan S. Gould, Harvard Law Review

An important book that will occupy a prominent place in the contemporary discussion of constitutional theory. It is, perhaps, Loughlin’s most important book, one in which the author revisits and recreates theoretical concerns that he has been working on for decades… Both for its singular virtues and for the intensity of the controversies it is bound to arouse, Against Constitutionalism represents a remarkable work.—Roberto Gargarella, University of Toronto Law Journal

Loughlin has written a short, dense book of considerable intellectual and political importance. Against Constitutionalism is an essential argument, forcefully made, and bristling with both learning and thinking.—Jedediah Purdy, author of This Land Is Our Land: The Struggle for a New Commonwealth

Against Constitutionalism does a wonderful job detailing the change in the nature of constitutional government that has taken place over the past hundred years and why those changes matter. This is a book that every serious student of constitutional government needs to read and think about.—Mark A. Graber, author of Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil

In this forceful critique of constitutionalism, Loughlin supplies us not only with an account of the emergence of a new ideology but also with a compelling analysis of its pathologies. It will surely engage the minds of jurists and legal scholars, but it should also be closely read by democratic theorists, who will find in these pages answers to questions they have been pondering for some time.—Chandran Kukathas, author of Immigration and Freedom

Constitutionalism and democracy, two notions that we are used to perceiving as a pair, are here opposed to each other. Loughlin’s thesis—that constitutionalism must cede if democracy shall thrive—is provocative enough to make this brilliantly written book one with which scholars will have to contend.—Dieter Grimm, former Justice of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany

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