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Our Elusive Constitution
Silences, Paradoxes, Priorities
Our Elusive Constitution
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Daniel N. Hoffman - Author
SUNY series in American Constitutionalism
Price: $55.50 
Hardcover - 297 pages
Release Date: August 1997
ISBN10: 0-7914-3501-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-3501-4

Quantity:  
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 297 pages
Release Date: August 1997
ISBN10: 0-7914-3502-4
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-3502-1

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Through a distinctive blending of political and legal analysis, this book draws attention to urgent questions in constitutional thought that have received inadequate attention from courts and scholars. Daniel N. Hoffman argues that we can avoid the pitfalls of much legal and political-science scholarship if we attend carefully to certain problems posed by constitutional silences, paradoxes, and priorities. "Silences" are issues of current concern on which the Constitution has little or nothing explicit to say, such as the role and influence of administrative bureaucracy, political parties, and multinational corporations. "Paradoxes" are anomalies within modern constitutional doctrine that reflect the built-in tensions between liberal and republican ideas, as well as the historical impact of forces such as nationalism and capitalism. And "Priorities" refers to the need for a more principled account of how to balance or choose between different constitutional values.

Among the topics Hoffman explores are the relationship between law and politics, the relationship between the citizen and the state, the jurisprudence of personal rights, and the need for expanded political and economic rights to restore balance to the constitutional system.

"Hoffman covers an astonishing amount of territory in his enormously interesting book on the Constitution and its present relevance in understanding and structuring American politics. Although the book can profitably be read by advanced student and scholar alike, I would especially relish presenting it in a seminar and using it as the basis for an undoubtedly vigorous (and illuminating) discussion." -- Sanford Levinson, author of Constitutional Faith

"A fascinating book, provocatively written and well thought out." -- John Brigham, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Daniel N. Hoffman
is Associate Professor of Political Science at Johnson C. Smith University, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is the author of Governmental Secrecy and the Founding Fathers and the coauthor (with Morton H. Halperin) of Top Secret: National Security and the Right to Know and Freedom vs. National Security.


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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Part I. Law and Politics—What, Where, and How?

1. The Myth of the Political Question

2. Representation and Constitutional Politics

Part II. The Many (Against Nationalism)

3. Peoplehood and Nationalism

4. The Myth of Presidential Prerogative

5. Compelling Governmental Interests

Part III. The One (Against Positivism)

6. Personhood and Rights

7. What Makes a Right Fundamental

8. Rights We Need Today

Afterword

Notes

Bibliography

Index


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