Constitutionalism, prosperity, democracy: Transition in Eastern Europe
Constitutional Political Economy, 1991, vol. 2, issue 3, 394 pages
Eastern Europe is now undergoing three distinct transitions: to markets, to democracy, and to constitutionalism. Under current conditions, the transition to constitutionalism is a logical precondition for the transitions to markets and democracy. To protect both of these, it is especially necessary to develop an “economic bill of rights” for inclusion in the new constitutions. This bill of rights should include the rule of law, protection of private property, freedom of contract, occupational liberty, the right to travel within and without the nation, and a prohibition on government monopolies; other similar provisions should be considered as well. The new constitutions should not include general aspirations, duties, or positive rights. The eventual development of an economic bill of rights—a precommitment strategy designed to promote prosperity and democracy—could constitute a new and important contribution to the theory and practice of constitutionalism. Copyright George Mason University 1991
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