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Bruce Ackerman on Constitution - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 163
Constitution/Ackerman/deliberative democracy/Bohman: Civil rights, for example, may be interpreted legally so as to establish and guarantee a minimum threshold and the fair value of communicative liberties. of communicative liberties. They can be interpreted, for example, to assure that voting power is
more equitably distributed, permitting greater access to representative forums, or they may open
up regulations of political speech to diminish the effects of discrepancies in campaign financing. The emergence of new norms or the reinterpretation of old ones may require a period of what Ackerman (1991(1)) calls 'constitutional politics' within an existing democracy. Ackerman thus sees the constitution as an open-ended discursive project subject to paradigm shifts at historical junctures such as Reconstruction after the Civil War and the Great Depression. These changes reflect 'discourse moments', to use Gamson's (1992(2): Part I) term, in which the people, the courts, or the executive respond to historical circumstance by reinterpreting and recreating the Constitution. >Civil rights/Discourse theories.


1. Ackerman, Bruce (1991) We the People, vol. I. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
2. Gamson, William (1992) Talking Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bohman, James 2004. „Discourse Theory“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Ackerman, Bruce
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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