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Constitutional change and the tensions of liberal democracy

Norton, Philip



James Connelly

Jack Hayward


The past 50 years have witnessed significant changes in the constitutional arrangements of nations around the globe. Changes have been necessary in order to ensure a stable polity, achieving or maintaining some degree of balance between effectiveness and consent, that is, between the capacity of government to raise resources in order to deliver programmes of public policy and to maintain popular consent (see Rose, 1979). Increased awareness of conditions in other countries, and an incapacity to meet the political and social needs of the people, has contributed to popular pressure for change, not least in totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. However, even in mature democracies, maintaining resources to support the welfare state has put the state apparatus under pressure. Declining resources and globalisation have combined to undermine what were assumed to be settled polities.


Norton, P. (2012). Constitutional change and the tensions of liberal democracy. In J. Connelly, & J. Hayward (Eds.), The Withering of the Welfare State (71-85). Palgrave Macmillan.

Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2012
Publication Date Jan 1, 2012
Pages 71-85
Book Title The Withering of the Welfare State
Chapter Number 5
ISBN 9780230349230; 9780230337145
Public URL