Peopling the Constitution - Constitutional Thinking (Hardback)John E. Finn (author)
- We can order this
This book outlines a very different view of the Constitution as a moral and philosophical statement about who we are as a nation. This "Civic Constitution" constitutes us as a civic body politic, transforming "the people" into a singular political entity. Juxtaposing this view with the legal model, the "Juridic Constitution," John E. Finn offers a comprehensive account of the Civic Constitution as a public affirmation of the shared principles of national self-identity and as a particular vision of political community in which we the people play a significant and ongoing role in achieving a constitutional way of life. The Civic Constitution is the constitution of dialogical engagement, of contested meanings, of political principles, of education, of conversation.
Peopling the Constitution seeks nothing less than a new interpretation of the American constitutional project in an effort to revive a robust understanding of citizenship. It considers the entire constitutional project, from its founding and maintenance to its failure, with insights into topics ranging from the practise of deliberative democracy and the meaning of citizenship, to constitutional fidelity, civic virtue, the separation of powers, federalism, and constitutional interpretation. The Civic Constitution, in Finn's telling, is primarily a political project requiring an active, engaged, and most importantly, constitutionally educated citizenry committed to the civic virtues of civility and tending. When we as citizens are unwilling or unable to tend to and sustain the Constitution, and when constitutional questions reduce to legal questions and obscure civic interests, constitutional rot results. And in post-9/11 America, Finn argues, constitutional rot has begun to set in.
With its multi-dimensional vision of constitutional governance, Finn's book stands as a corrective to accounts that locate the Constitution in and conceive it essentially as a legal instrument, making a powerful and impassioned argument for restoring the people to their rightful place in the politics and practise of the Constitution.
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 735 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm
"A compelling account of the patterns of though and action that are necessary to sustain a vibrant constitutional culture. It is well argued, engagingly written, and never less than fair to competing theoretical perspectives. Even scholars who favor a robust judiciary, or who doubt the ability of average citizens to fulfill the demanding role Finn assigns them, will be forced to reckon with this book's deeply troubling conclusions."--Perspectives on Politics
"The essay form of the book is innovative and reflective of its subject, inviting a less formal (but not informal) tone that raises questions and opens up the mind to consideration of civic possibilities and all of the work that it does to sustain a civic constitutional order."--Tulsa Law Review
"Professor Finn sees signs of rot in the rise of the the post-9/11 security state "governed by our fear instead of our reason," and he calls on all citizens to renew their commitment to the Civil Constitution."--Harvard Law Review
You may also be interested in...
Please sign in to write a review