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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

Cover of Goode on Commercial Law

Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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God(s) Over Constitution: Transnational Constitutionalism in the 21st Century

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ISBN13: 9780754678595
Published: July 2016
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Ltd
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £95.00

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This book focuses on the two great shifts in constitutionalist thinking during the last century: the remaking of constitutionalism from a tool of state power to an attempt to systematize, institutionalize, and implement an international higher law; and the rejection of this development by transcendent, universalist, autonomous religious communities and their efforts to displace secular universalist normative frameworks with transcendent religious frameworks no less universal.

Author Larry Cata Backer analyzes the movement from ethnic or nationalist constitutions to transnational constitutionalism, and then turns his focus to the rise of religiously based or theocratic systems challenging the orthodoxy of the secular post-World War II supra-constitutionalist project.

The book further examines the implications of these seismic movements in global constitutionalism, both at the level of constitutional theory and at the "as-applied" level of the law of the constitution now possible within states.

Backer looks closely at a number of constitutions recently enacted in Muslim-majority and Marxist-Leninist states from the perspective of this ideological constitutionalism developed in the book, and does so from outside the usual Western view that tends to explain these constitutional experiments solely in relation to their conformity with the norms, values and methods of Western constitutions.

In all, God(s) Over Constitution provides a new and unique framework for understanding this new constitutionalism, and proposes a more useful way of understanding the great conflicts between the secular and theocratic approaches to it.