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date: 19 June 2024

p. 31. Defining the Constitution?locked

p. 31. Defining the Constitution?locked

  • Ian LovelandIan LovelandProfessor of Public Law, City, University of London


This chapter identifies evaluative criteria that readers may wish to keep in mind when considering the description and analysis of the United Kingdom’s current constitutional arrangements presented in the rest of the book. The chapter begins by exploring what we might regard from a contemporary perspective as the essential features of the governmental systems adopted in a ‘democratic’ state. In order to illustrate the very contested nature of this concept of ‘democracy’, the chapter presents and analyses several hypothetical examples of what we might (or might not) regard as acceptable forms of governance, and explores the the notion of a country’s constitution being properly described as as a social and political contract formulated by its citizens. The chapter concludes by examining briefly the solutions adopted by the American revolutionaries to resolve the constitutional difficulties they faced when the United States became an independent country.

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