Is the “Veil of Ignorance” in Constitutional Choice a Myth? An Empirical Exploration Informed by a Theory of Power

  • Louis M. ImbeauEmail author
  • Steve Jacob
Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 23)


A Constitution is a social contract defining a set of rules by which the governed agree to be governed. As such a Constitution ascribes power resources to governors while restraining the way they are expected to use them. But a Constitution is also a discourse on the prevailing conceptions of power relations in the society where it originated. More specifically, it tells a story about the types of power that need to be ascribed or restrained and those that need not. Looking at a Constitution from both viewpoints opens a new window for uncovering the motivations that drove its drafters in the Constitution-making process in which they were involved. In particular, it helps reveal the impact of uncertainty on Constitutional choices.


Decision Maker Power Relation Political Power Pressure Group Social Power 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceLaval UniversityQuébecCanada

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