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Conflict, Power, and the Landscape of Constitutionalism

Ranabir Samaddar (Editor) Gilles Tarabout (Editor)
Synopsis The backdrop to the book a -- comparative study of several countries across three continents --is the understanding that every good constitution rigorously separates the legislature, executive, and judiciary from one another to guarantee the independence of each of these powers, such that this separation results in life, liberty and security. However, the constitution also symbolises and produces power. As such, constitutionalism as a political culture of laws should therefore explain the dynamics of power. In viewing the constitutions together with the societies in which they emerge, this study shows how institutional practices originating from a legal text create a matrix of power that owes its life neither to a contract between men, nor between the state and men, nor even between the society and men, but rather to relations established, organised, and formalised by laws. It seeks to investigate how power acts on power, and is a revealing account of how the theory of separation is both a myth and a reality.
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About the authors

Ranabir Samaddar

Ranabir Samaddar, Director of the Peace Studies Programme at the South Asian Forum for Human Rights, Kathmandu, was formerly Professor of South Asian Studies, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata. He is the author of a three volume study of post-colonial nationalism in South Asia, Whose Asia is it Anyway: Nation and the Region in South Asia (1996), The Marginal Nation: Transborder Migration from Bangladesh to West Bengal (1999) and A Biography of the Indian Nation, 1947-97 (2001), and of Memory, Identity, Power: Politics in the Jungle Mahals, 1890-1950 (1997), an account of the politics of community formation in the Jharkhand region.

Gilles Tarabout

Gilles Tarabout, Ph.D. in social anthropology, has specialized in the study of Kerala’s society and popular religious practices. Apart from his own publications in the field, he has co-edited volumes bearing on various themes; Islam and Christianity in India, Religious Possession in South Asia, Conceptions of the Body in Hinduism. Currently senior fellow (CNRS) at the Centre for Indian and South Asian Studies, Paris, he is also in charge of the Indo-French Cooperation Programme in Social Sciences at the ‘Maison des Sciences de I’Homme’ (Paris).

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Bibliographic information

Title Conflict, Power, and the Landscape of Constitutionalism
Format Hardcover
Date published: 23.11.2008
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0415445426
length viii+254p.
Subjects History