Ancient and Modern Constitutionmaking
Ancient Greece and Rome produced a sizable body of literature concerned with the making and preserving of constitutions and on how well different constitutions worked in different circumstances. The authors explained the causes of constitutional stability and revolution in considerable detail, and they showed how both might be brought about. Much of this literature was preserved through the Middle Ages and Renaissance into modern times, and it was highly influential in the controversies surrounding the birth of the modern liberal republics. It offers a reasoned approach today to those who want to anticipate what their constitutionmaking attempts are likely to achieve. This course looks to the constitutionmaking tradition as it developed from classical antiquity forward in an attempt to understand the causes of relative success. Students read representative Greek and Latin texts in translation and trace the influence of this tradition into modern times, ending with contemporary constitutionmaking efforts in Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.
This course satisfies an elective requirement in the Master of Public Administration and Certificate in Politics programs.