We Start from Here

RUSSEL HARDIN
CONSTITUTIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY (2016). ADVANCED ONLINE PUBLICATION. DOI 10.1007/s10602-016-9218-6

Abstract: As James Buchanan often asserted, in constitutional design “we start from here” which is to say we design a constitution to fit the institutions, social practices and so forth that we already have. Comparison of the complicated case of the US constitution and the failed attempt at constitutionalism in contemporary Egypt suggest that many societies are not yet ready for serious constitutional design. The English civil wars were about religion; the US constitution ignores religion and thereby avoids the grim conflict of church and state.