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Constitutionalism &

By: Anupam Gurung
Copy Righted Material.


The document provides an analysis on the definition, relationship and variance of constitutional
dynamics incorporating contemporary political States.
Constitutionalism &

Constitutional Dynamism
Constitutionalism: in the modern sense may be defined as a complex
of ideas, attitudes, and patterns of behavior elaborating the principle that the
authority of government derives from the people, and is limited by a body of
fundamental law. A political organization is constitutional to the extent that it
"contains institutionalized mechanisms of power control for the protection of
the interests and liberties of the citizenry, including those that may be in the
minority. Constitutionalism according to Dicey is; “the absolute supremacy
of predominance of regular law as opposed to the influence of arbitrary
power. It means again, equality before the law”.
Constitutionalism is thus the cornerstone if liberal democracy. For the
survival of the political system, there is a need for wide consensus of the
people regarding the role of law and the basis of government.
Constitutionalism is thus to have a constitutional pattern of life in which the
powers of the authorities are kept in check, the fundamental rights of citizens
are maintained and peoples changing aspirations are met. The modern
concept of constitutionalism thus emphasizes on a limited government with
civil and political rights of the citizens. Constitutionalism is thus a value
loaded concept. According to Fredrick; “power separation is the foundation
of cultural rule and the actual meaning of constitutionalism”. In the views of
Carter and Hertz; “fundamental rights and liberal judiciary are general and
essential characteristics of every constitutionalism”.

Constitutional Dynamism:
The term dynamism bears a collection of “periphery meaning” including,
active, flexible, amendable, evolutionary etc with regards to the usability of
the term. Constitutional Dynamism in its literary meaning refers to a
constitutional structure or arrangement in which the constitutional laws are
made so that they could cope up with the changing and evolving relationship
between the citizen and the state. Thus a particular constitution may be
dynamic if it embodies the following features in its laws:
A) Its Laws are amendable so as to comfort the demands of new, arising
cultural viability, demanding economy, changing political culture and
societal pattern.
B) That its laws do not hinder the mono or stereo-religio-ethnic sentiments
of its citizens.
C) That it protects the fundamental rights of its citizenry which is also its
primary priority.
D) That its laws are “dynamic-as in its literary meaning” so as to respect,
recognize and encourage political relations in the International
E) That its laws are egalitarian towards all sections of society including
the minority.

The Relation:
The academic study of constitutionalism started in recent past especially for
four reasons:
1) The Authoritarian states of Europe and Latin America was the thrust
for making constitutional form of government in 1980’s and 90’s which
opened the way to study of academic constitutionalism in political
2) Due to study and emergence of new type of constitution in the end of
20th century in consolidated democracies like Belgium, Canada,
Sweden. The study of constitutionalism started in these countries.
3) In most of the Western countries the judicial interference or with judges
active role in politics led the study of constitutionalism in political
4) Lastly, with the legislation of international politics and with their
effects on domestic politics especially in case of European Union
which explored the academic study of constitutionalism.
Thus the study of constitutionalism is a dynamic concept since its subject
criteria embodies every aspect of relationship between the State and the
citizen in domestic and in foreign arena facilitating culture and values to
flourish on the modern changing role of the different political system. It not
only reflects the objectives of giving good life to the citizens of a country but
it also arranges for them the means to achieve these objectives of a “Welfare
State” in a modern sense. The relation between Constitutionalism and
Dynamism is eminent, since globalization has brought forward a rapid
change in every aspect of human life and constitution not being a exception,
therefore if a state declares itself to be a welfare state then it has to have a
dynamic constitution.
The American constitution is a dynamic one as of having The Bill of rights
for its citizens (1791), recently the Obama administration has passed a bill
legitimizing transsexual marriage in the states by amending its constitution.
The Indian constitution embodies constitutional safeguards for its citizens
along with the fundamental rights to its citizen with its protector as an
independent Supreme Court. The Indian constitution has been amended
(Article-15-20th Jan 2006) to enable provisions for reservations of OBC’s in
government as well as private educational institutions. On 10th Sept, 2010,
the ruling party of Turkey “Justice and Development Party” (AKP) held a
Referendum on the question of if/if not to promote Turkey’s decentralization.
These are some of the latest examples of countries incorporating dynamism
in their constitutional setup. Thus the relationship between constitutionalisms
is not only deep but it is greatly needed especially in the contemporary
political era.