Constitution or Conflict?
A self-enforcing constitution creates a political process that provides an alternative to civil conflict for resolving disputes among the constituent groups of the polity. This paper is concerned with discovering the conditions under which it is possible to design such a self-enforcing constitution. The paper is also concerned with discovering generic features of a self-enforcing constitution. The analysis yields the following theoretical propositions: If and only if (1) none of the parties to a dispute regards the dispute to be too important relative to the expected incremental cost of civil conflict and (2) no party has too big of an advantage in civil conflict, then the parties are able to resolve a dispute constitutionally. Also, under a constitution that is self enforcing the outcomes of constitutional contests for political power do not matter too much. The paper illustrates the relevance of the theoretical analysis by applying these propositions to two dramatic historical examples of constitutional failure: the secession of eleven Southern states from the Union in 1861 and the National Socialist revolution in Germany in 1933.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
|Date of creation:||2002|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson, 1999.
"A Theory of Political Transitions,"
99-26, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Robert H. Bates & Avner Greif & Margaret Levi & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 1998. "Analytic Narratives," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 6355.
- Fortin, Pierre & Keil, Manfred & Symons, James, 2001. "The Sources of Unemployment in Canada, 1967-91: Evidence from a Panel of Regions and Demographic Groups," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 67-93, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:2002-01. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Brown Economics Webmaster)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.