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Constitutional Politics and Dilemmas on the Left

Aziz Rana aims to free us from Constitution worship. An abiding faith in “redemptive” constitutionalism, his new book argues, has long held back liberals, progressives, and even the Left from seriously promoting major change in our structures of government. Yet key left figures and movements have always made canny use of redemptive constitutional narratives and arguments. Rejecting that tradition leaves far too much on the table.

Socialism Past and Future (Part II of II)

In my last post, I began a discussion of the Weimar Constitution as one of the first constitutions containing provisions for social and economic rights (SER), and perhaps the very first one, in which socialists had an important hand drafting and expounding. The literature on constitutional SER misses a great deal when it casts the Weimar Constitution as a weak, infant version of later SER constitutions, which grew stronger over time.

Socialism Past and Future (Part I of II)

Socialism is back. But what is socialism? We have forgotten a lot about what it meant in its salad days, a century ago. And what we have forgotten may include what might be compelling today.

A Political Economy the Constitution Requires

“Political economy” has an antique ring. More than a century ago, the field of “political economy” began to give way to what was called “economics.” By the mid-twentieth century, political economy was forgotten; economics ruled the roost. But what is old is new again. Political economy is coming back. Economics sidelines the distribution of wealth…