Public Choice

, Volume 89, Issue 3, pp 339–361

Social order through constitutional choice: A contractarian proposal

  • Niclas Berggren

DOI: 10.1007/BF00159363

Cite this article as:
Berggren, N. Public Choice (1996) 89: 339. doi:10.1007/BF00159363


The present paper consists of two closely related parts: one which outlines a normative criterion for evaluating the legitimacy of constitutional change and one which specifies a particular proposal of a constitution. The criterion used stems directly from the "pragmatic" brand of contractarianism developed by Buchanan, where an approximate rule of unanimity is utilized. The proposal aims at the highest possible freedom of choice for individuals when it comes to defining the political system of their liking: a core (dealing with public goods and rights) is common for all, but everything else can vary between different sub-constitutions between which individuals choose.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niclas Berggren
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsStockholm School of EconomicsStockholmSweden