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Cambridge University Press
Expected online publication date:
August 2024
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Book description

This Handbook brings together contributions from leading scholars of constitutionaltheory, with backgrounds in law, philosophy and political science. Its sixty chapters not only offer an exceptional survey of the field but also provide a major contribution to it. The book explores three main areas. First, the values upheld by a constitution, including rights, freedom, equality, dignity and well-being. Second, the modalities of a constitutional system, such as the separation of powers, democratic representation and the rule of law. Finally, the institutions through which it operates, both legal and political, including courts, elections, parliaments and international organisations. It also considers the challenges confronting constitutional arrangements from growing inequality, populism, climate change and migration.


‘As democracies, and the ideal of democracy itself, are under threat, the study of constitutional theory has never seemed more important than it is now. This volume, whose list of contributors is a Who’s Who of the field, is an illuminating map of a complex and rich terrain. A ‘must read’.’

Cecile Fabre - University of Oxford

‘An outstanding collection of essays, focusing mainly on constitutionalism as a normative political theory.’

Seyla Benhabib - Columbia Law School

‘Having read this remarkable and innovative book, one has a better idea of what constitutional theory is and why it is helpful for everybody who deals with constitutional law in politics, judiciary or academia.’

Dieter Grimm - Humboldt University Berlin, Former Justice, Federal Constitutional Court of Germany

‘The collection is a theoretical tour de force. It demands a place on the bookshelves of any and all scholars interested in constitutionalism and its theoretical underpinnings.’

Rosalind Dixon - University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law

‘The Cambridge Handbook of Constitutional Theory is a breathtaking collection of essays on the conceptual foundations upon which our visions of self-government are formed. In an age of churn and crisis, there is no finer guide to the power and promise of modern constitutionalism.’

Madhav Khosla - Columbia University


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