Behind a Veil of Ignorance?

Power and Uncertainty in Constitutional Design

  • Louis M. Imbeau
  • Steve Jacob

Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 32)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Louis M. Imbeau, Steve Jacob
    Pages 1-6
  3. Literature Reviews, Theory, and Method

  4. Case Studies

About this book


This volume is a very interesting research project that includes the most careful work on constitutional power and limits to authority of which I am aware. In general, the contributors find that constitutional negotiations normally took place in settings where uncertainty was considerable. They also find that the more detailed the characterization of power relationships, the more liberal and durable the democracy tends to be. Roger D. Congleton

This book addresses the issue of the impact of uncertainty in constitutional design. To what extent do constitution drafters and adopters make their decisions behind a veil of ignorance? More fundamentally, can we infer from constitutional texts the degree of uncertainty faced by constitution drafters and adopters? After an introduction (chapter 1), the book proceeds in two parts. The first part (chapters 2 to 4) introduces to the intellectual filiation of the project and to its theoretical and methodological foundations. The second part (chapters 5 to 13) presents nine case studies built on the same structure: historical account of the making of the Constitution, results of the content analysis of the constitutional text, and discussion of specific issues raised in the analysis. Chapter 14 concludes.


Constitutional Design Constitutional Texts Morality Political uncertainty Power Social Contract

Editors and affiliations

  • Louis M. Imbeau
    • 1
  • Steve Jacob
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political Science Pavillon Charles-De KoninckUniversité LavalQuébecCanada
  2. 2.Department of Political Science Pavillon Charles-De KoninckUniversité LavalQuébecCanada

Bibliographic information