Author: Federica Carugati
We live in an era of constitution-making. More than half of the world’s constitutions have been drafted in the past half-century.
Yet, one question still eludes theorists and practitioners alike: How do stable, growth-enhancing constitutional structures emerge and endure?
In Creating a Constitution, Federica Carugati argues that ancient Athens offers a unique laboratory for exploring this question, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
Because the city-state was reasonably well-documented, smaller than most modern nations, and simpler in its institutional makeup, the case of Athens reveals key factors of successful constitution-making that are hard to flesh out in more complex settings.
Carugati demonstrates that the institutional changes Athens undertook in the late fifth century BCE, after a period of war and internal strife, amounted to a de facto constitution.
The constitution restored stability and allowed democracy to flourish anew.