Constitutional Ethos

Liberal Equality for the Common Good

Author: Alexander Tsesis

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199359865

Category: Law

Page: 336

View: 9439

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Judges, courts, and scholars in the United States agree that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, but there is much disagreement about its meaning. So what seems to be incontestable truth is riddled with disagreements about every day questions of decision making on matter such as whether people are entitled to government created programs, what rights are fundamental, the criteria for voting, the three branches of governments' several responsibilities, and even who should have the final say in defining the Constitution's meaning. Constitutional Ethos is a groundbreaking investigation into the fundamental principles of constitutional principle, meaning, and interpretation. It explores the core purposes of American representative democracy in light of historical sources, recent precedents, and contemporary debates. Alexander Tsesis argues that a central norm of U.S. law can be derived from the Declaration of Independence and Preamble. This book develops a theory of constitutional law structured on the public duty to protect individual rights for the general welfare. The maxim of constitutional governance synthesizes the protection of individual and public rights. The ideal is neither solely theoretical nor customary but tied to a firm foundation that the people then build upon by lobbying elected officials and petitioning appointed judges. Representative government has an interlinked obligation to the individual and the general welfare. This paradigm for responsible governance sets the baseline against which citizens can hold policy makers accountable to the structural and normative commitments of the Constitution. A pluralistic system must respect human dignity and govern for the betterment of the body politic. Those mandates set the terms for exercising legitimate power at the federal, state, and local levels to protect individual rights to achieve the common good of civil society. Tsesis demonstrates that ethos is binding on the conduct of all three branches of government and their officeholders. His argument challenges the more common U.S. perspective among academics and judges, who typically discount the existence of any objective constitutional value, regarding the document as a construct of social norms. To the contrary, Tsesis shows that the people established the terms of the nation's founding documents to protect universal, unalienable rights. The structure of government provides the mechanisms of those in a pluralistic state to set reasonable limitations for the betterment of society as a whole. Understanding the Constitution's special place in American legal culture is essential for resolving a host of contemporary issues; including, those involving marital, gender, and voting equalities. The state is a means of optimizing the well-being of individuals. Human productivity can best flourish in a society of equals, where talents can be brought to bear in the betterment of self and other members of the community. The Constitution does not create rights but protects those universal ideals of representative democracy first set out in the Declaration of Independence. It further grants authority to political institutions for the enforcement of policies and concrete laws for the betterment of society or some relevant segment of it. Many scholars with leanings in legal realism and process theory believe the authority of government is a social construct created by popular majorities; Tsesis convincingly demonstrates, to the contrary, that even those laws enacted by popular majorities are not authoritative unless they accord with a central maxim of constitutionalism, which is the protection of individual rights for the common good.
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The Common Good of Constitutional Democracy

Essays in Political Philosophy and on Catholic Social Teaching

Author: Martin Rhonheimer

Publisher: CUA Press

ISBN: 0813220092

Category: Philosophy

Page: 535

View: 5020

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The Common Good of Constitutional Democracy offers a rich collection of essays in political philosophy by Swiss philosopher Martin Rhonheimer. Like his other books in both ethical theory and applied ethics, which have recently been published in English, the essays included are distinguished by the philosophical rigor and meticulous attention to the primary and secondary literature of the various topics discussed
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Law and Religion in Africa

The quest for the common good in pluralistic societies

Author: Pieter Coertzen,M Christiaan Green,Len Hansen

Publisher: AFRICAN SUN MeDIA

ISBN: 1919985638

Category: Religion

Page: 412

View: 8806

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In our time the study of law and religion is emerging as a wide-ranging and vital academic discipline, with increasingly urgent implications for society at large. Lying at the intersection of a variety of other disciplines ? law, theology, religious studies, political science, sociology and anthropology, to name only the most obvious ? the field of law and religion is generating a burgeoning volume of interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary research and study. The current volume is proof of this. The discussion of the relationship between law and religion, as seen from a variety of perspectives in Africa, underscores the critical importance of the issues involved in the everyday life of all citizens. It is accordingly vital for governments to take note of the scholarly results that are produced. We hope that this volume will contribute to this aim.
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The New American Democracy

Author: Morris P. Fiorina,Paul E. Peterson

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

ISBN: 9780205298648

Category: Political Science

Page: 792

View: 3674

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With an emphasis on elections and their importance in our political system, Morris Fiorina and Paul Peterson' s groundbreaking text offers a stimulating, analytical approach to American government that engages students as it gives them a unique understanding of their political system as it exists and functions today.
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Piero Gobetti and the Politics of Liberal Revolution

Author: James Martin

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN: 9780230602748

Category: Political Science

Page: 220

View: 5945

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Piero Gobetti was an astonishing figure. A radical liberal and fierce critic of Italian politics in the years after World War I, he was fascinated by the workers' struggles in his native Turin and by Gramsci's vision of a factory-based democracy. Gobetti proposed liberalism as an emancipatory theory grounded in social conflicts. "Revolutionary liberalism," as he called it, guided his opposition to Fascism and, following his untimely death at twenty-five, inspired key figures in the Italian Resistance. Accessible but critical, this volume is the first English-language study of Gobetti's political ideas and offers a balanced assessment of his enduring significance.
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The New American Democracy

Author: Paul E. Peterson

Publisher: Longman Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780321416148

Category: Political Science

Page: 702

View: 7817

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The New American Democracy, Fifth Edition, emphasizes the centrality of elections in American politics today-and examines our country's evolution from a pluralist democracy to a more populist one-helping you understand how both have profoundly changed the way our political system operates. New to the Fifth Edition. Complete up-to-date coverage and analysis of the following topics: Historic 2006 congressional campaigns and elections, Concerns about terrorism and the governmental steps to combat it, Complexities of immigration-legal and illegal, Latest developments in the area of campaign finance, Civil rights of Latinos, Asian Americans, and gays and lesbians.
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Education, Globalization, and Social Change

Author: Hugh Lauder

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780199272532

Category: Education

Page: 1182

View: 4161

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Education is seen as central to economic competitiveness, the reduction of poverty and inequality, and environmental sustainability. The editors have selected key writings that examine the social and economic limits- and possibilities of-education in addressing these fundamental problems. This new reader establishes the field of sociology of education with a particular focus on papers that analyse the nature and extent of globalization in education. A general introduction presents the keyconcepts in the sociology of education, and outlines the major theories and debates, especially in relation to globalization. Each section is accompanied by a part opener explaining and contextualizing the readings within a larger educational and sociological context.
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