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10 - Power, Land, and Second-Best Constitutionalism: Central and Northern Europe

from Part IV - Land, Conditionality, and Property Rights

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 June 2021

Deborah Boucoyannis
Affiliation:
George Washington University, Washington DC
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Summary

Part IV examines in greater detail a central concept in the preceding chapters: conditionality. Its ubiquity throughout the previous sections raises the question whether it might suffice to explain representation. The question is first approached by examining how conditionality operated in cases where ruler power was weak. Under such conditions, it led to "second-best constitutionalism," a pattern of governance emerging where rulers lacked power over the most powerful and developed conditional relations with groups they endowed with counterbalancing resources. This explains representative governance in cases where the regime was not able to control all social groups: representation was focused on the groups with conditional relations with the crown. This helps explain the cases of Hungary and Poland, which are treated here at greater length, as well as Sweden, Denmark, and the Holy Roman Empire, which are treated more briefly.

Type
Chapter
Information
Kings as Judges
Power, Justice, and the Origins of Parliaments
, pp. 207 - 230
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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