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Civil Society, Constitution, and Legitimacy

Andrew Arato

Spurred by recent governmental transitions from dictatorships to democratic institutions, this highly original work argues that negotiated civil society-oriented transitions have an affinity for a distinctive method of constitution making_one that accomplishes the radical change of institutions through legal continuity. Arato presents a compelling argument that this is the preferred method for rapidly establishing viable democratic institutions, and he contrasts the negotiated model with radical revolutionary change. This exceptionally engaging work will be of interest to students and scholars of comparative politics, constitutional law, and East European studies, as well as to political scientists and sociologists. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 368Size: 6 x 9
978-0-8476-8771-8 • Hardback • April 2000 • $134.00 • (£85.00)
978-0-8476-8772-5 • Paperback • April 2000 • $44.00 • (£29.95)
978-0-7425-7363-5 • eBook • April 2000 • $41.00 • (£27.95)
Andrew Arato is professor of sociology and democratic studies at the New School for Social Research. He is the author of numerous books and articles, most recently From Neo-Marxism to Democratic Theory.
Andrew Arato is both a keen observer of eastern Europe and a social theorist of well-deserved high reputation. Arato has written an important book, clearly the best to date on the writing of constitutions and their normative ramifications for democracy in postcommunist eastern Europe. Its combination of theoretical sophistication and broad knowledge of the region is impressive. It deserves a wide reading among those interested in law, constitutionalism, politics, and social theory.
Slavic Review

Andrew Arato has long been an astute and original analyst of East European politics so it is of no surprise that his new book is a thoughful addition to the literature on the complexities of rebuilding political spaces and institutions after communism. Arato's new book builds on his more general work on the nature of civil society and its place in democratic politics and draws together many strands of contemporary political thought. This blend of the analytical and normative makes the book an interesting addition to the literature; the combination of a desire to explain with a sence of political responsibility makes it very different to the conventions of transitology and consolidology.

Well written and presented. The book undoubtedly has a valuable theoretical contribution to make.....
Political Studies Review

Arato provides much material on Hungary and adds insightful references to Poland and several other states in the region.

Well written and presented.The book undoubtedly has a valuable theoretical contribution to make.
Political Studies Review