From contract to mental model: Constitutional culture as a fact of the social sciences

From contract to mental model: Constitutional culture as a fact of the social sciences This paper develops the concept of constitutional culture—the attitude, thoughts, and feelings about constitutional constraints and the nature, scope, and function of constitutionalism. Constitutional culture is approached as a complex emergent phenomenon bridging Hayekian cognitive and institutional insights. It can be studied as a mental model, a series of expectations and understandings about the constitutional order, how it is, and how it ought to be. The “map” and “model” approach from Hayek’s Sensory Order (1952) is employed to understand how individuals and (cautiously) groups of individuals at the national level approach constitutionalism. This paper goes beyond the more traditional one-size-fits-all approach where all individuals respond uniformly to incentives, as provided by the constitution qua contract. Instead, constitutionalism is tied up in the individual’s vision of the world, that is, what Hayek (1948) labels “the facts of the social sciences.” The paper concludes with four areas where constitutional culture can further the insights of constitutional political economy: comparative political economy, constitutional stickiness, constitutional maintenance, and the new development economics. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of Austrian Economics Springer Journals

From contract to mental model: Constitutional culture as a fact of the social sciences

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Economics; Public Finance; Political Science; History of Economic Thought/Methodology
ISSN
0889-3047
eISSN
1573-7128
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11138-009-0086-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper develops the concept of constitutional culture—the attitude, thoughts, and feelings about constitutional constraints and the nature, scope, and function of constitutionalism. Constitutional culture is approached as a complex emergent phenomenon bridging Hayekian cognitive and institutional insights. It can be studied as a mental model, a series of expectations and understandings about the constitutional order, how it is, and how it ought to be. The “map” and “model” approach from Hayek’s Sensory Order (1952) is employed to understand how individuals and (cautiously) groups of individuals at the national level approach constitutionalism. This paper goes beyond the more traditional one-size-fits-all approach where all individuals respond uniformly to incentives, as provided by the constitution qua contract. Instead, constitutionalism is tied up in the individual’s vision of the world, that is, what Hayek (1948) labels “the facts of the social sciences.” The paper concludes with four areas where constitutional culture can further the insights of constitutional political economy: comparative political economy, constitutional stickiness, constitutional maintenance, and the new development economics.

Journal

The Review of Austrian EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 2, 2009

References

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