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Vanderbilt University Law School

Constitutional Law

2016

Constitutional theory

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Puzzling Absence Of Economic Power In Constitutional Theory, Ganesh Sitaraman Sep 2016

The Puzzling Absence Of Economic Power In Constitutional Theory, Ganesh Sitaraman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Contemporary constitutional theory needs to be rooted in a more realistic description of the American political process. This Article frst argues that leading debates in constitutional theory have failed to engage with the reality of elite economic domination and that without taking into account the role economic elites play in American politics, these theories have serious limitations even on their own terms. Second, it shows that any attempt to design institutions to account for the influence of economic power will face persistent, pervasive, and perverse problems. A central task of constitutional theory going forward must be to overcome or at …


Economic Structure And Constitutional Structure, Ganesh Sitaraman Jan 2016

Economic Structure And Constitutional Structure, Ganesh Sitaraman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In the last four decades, the American middle class has been hollowed out, and fears are growing that economic inequality is leading to political inequality. These trends raise a troubling question: Can our constitutional system survive the collapse of the middle class? This question might seem tangential-if not unrelated-to contemporary constitutional theory. But for most of the history ofpolitical thought, one of the central problems of constitutional design was the relationship between the distribution of wealth in society and the structure of government. Two traditions emerged from thinking about this relationship. The first tradition assumed that society would be divided …