Please note: scholarships available!
Dates: Monday August 26 , Tuesday August 27, Wednesday August 28, Thursday August 29.
The exercise of power by states should always have a valid basis in the law (rule of law). At the same time it should be limited by the same law (limited government). These are perhaps the most important building blocks of constitutional government. Legitimizing and limiting power by law is called constitutionalism.
Nonetheless, between both aspects of constitutionalism a tremendous internal tension exists: the law seems vulnerable in the face of power, but lawless power seems unsustainable. In addition, constitutionalism continually threatens to be undercut by all sorts of external factors, such as corruption, interest groups, the welfare state, and especially also democracy itself.
Constitutionalism is a classic Western ideal that has been given new expressions in the modern era. In this course we will look for the meaning, development, and relevance of constitutionalism with the help of several important texts.
Included in the readings are Aristotle, Mill, Kant, Tocqueville, and other great authors.