Constitutional Political Economy

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 195-213

First online:

Consent for Change: Article V and The Constitutional Amendment Process

  • Thomas F. SchallerAffiliated withDepartment of Political Science, Binghamton University

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The political economy of U.S. constitutional amendmentswithin the guidelines of Article V is shown to tend toward minoritarianism.Specifically, two shifts reduce the consent necessary to passamendments, each potentially raising the social costs of changingthe Constitution by amendment. A typology of amending “climates”is offered, followed by a discussion of the normative implicationsfor constitutional stability of minoritarian rule in amendmentpolitics.