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Systemic CorruptionConstitutional Ideas for an Anti-Oligarchic Republic$
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Camila Vergara

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691207537

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691207537.001.0001

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On Material Constitutional Thought

On Material Constitutional Thought

Chapter:
(p.102) 3 On Material Constitutional Thought
Source:
Systemic Corruption
Author(s):

Camila Vergara

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691207537.003.0004

This chapter proposes a methodological approach to the study of constitutions that goes beyond the written text and jurisprudence in order to incorporate the material structure of society. It interprets the factual organization and exercise of power that is allowed and enabled by foundational institutions, rules, and procedures. It also discusses the premise of material constitutionalism on the idea that the organization of political power cannot be analyzed without taking into account political and socioeconomic power structures. The chapter establishes a constitutional ideology that stands opposed to legal positivism, formalism, and proceduralism. It traces the material approach back to Niccolò Machiavelli and distinguishes between institutionalist and critical strands.

Keywords:   material structure, foundational institutions, material constitutionalism, constitutional ideology, legal positivism

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