Measuring the Opacity of the ‘Veil of Ignorance’ in Constitutions: Theory, Method, and Some Results

  • Louis M. ImbeauEmail author
  • Steve Jacob
Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 32)


The Veil of Ignorance project (VOIP) looks at constitutions as discourses to infer the motivations of constitution drafters from the content of the very text they contributed to write (Imbeau 2009). In particular, the project aims at measuring the extent to which constitution drafters worked under uncertainty. This chapter introduces to the theory and method of the VOIP project and presents some preliminary results. We proceed in three steps. First, we expose the theoretical foundations of the project based on Buchanan’s interaction approach. Second, we describe the content analysis method that we used to compare the discursive content of 16 constitutions. Third, we submit some of our empirical results to validity tests before concluding.


Power Relation Political Power Social Power Electoral College Future Position 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département de Science PolitiqueUniversité LavalQuébecCanada

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