Research Programs: Fellowships for University Teachers

Period of Performance

7/1/2008 - 6/30/2009

Funding Totals

$50,400.00 (approved)
$50,400.00 (awarded)

American Constitutional Failure and Success

FAIN: FA-53805-08

Sotirios A. Barber
University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN 46556-4635)

As ideological fissures weaken the foundations of civil life in America, constitutional theorists and social scientsts have begun to ask if the U.S. constitutional system is beginning to break down. At its present stage, this discussion is burdened by the absence of a general analysis of what might be meant by constitutional failure and success, the formal conditions for applying these concepts to concrete situations, and the different ways in which constitutions on the American model succeed or fail. The project proposed here is a book that will defend the importance of these second-order questions, survey alternative answers, and (borrowing from sources like Aristotle's Politics, The Federalist, and contemporary metaethics) propose answers of its own. The book will show that the capacity of institutions and political leaders to anticipate and provide for constitutional failure is central to the rational pursuit of constitutional ends and to constitutionalism as an ideology.

Associated Products

Constitutional Failure: Mostly Attitudinal (Article)
Title: Constitutional Failure: Mostly Attitudinal
Author: Sotirios A. Barber
Abstract: Lead article in Jeffrey Tulis and Stephen Macedo, eds, The Limits of Constitutional democracy, Princeton University Press (2010)
Year: 2010

Constitutional Failure (Book)
Title: Constitutional Failure
Abstract: MS is in press; forthcoming 2014, University Press of Kansas
Year: 2013
Type: Single author monograph

The Constitution of Judicial Power (Book)
Title: The Constitution of Judicial Power
Author: Barber, Sotirios A.
Year: 1993
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: WorldCat entry
Publisher: Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9780801857904