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Cambridge University Press

The New Fourth Branch

The New Fourth Branch

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Twenty-first-century constitutions now typically include a new 'fourth branch' of government, a group of institutions charged with protecting constitutional democracy, including electoral management bodies, anticorruption agencies, and ombuds offices. This book offers the first general theory of the fourth branch; in a world where governance is exercised through political parties, we cannot be confident that the traditional three branches are enough to preserve constitutional democracy. The fourth branch institutions can, by concentrating within themselves distinctive forms of expertise, deploy that expertise more effectively than the traditional branches are capable of doing. However, several case studies of anticorruption efforts, electoral management bodies, and audit bureaus show that the fourth branch institutions do not always succeed in protecting constitutional democracy, and indeed sometimes undermine it. The book concludes with some cautionary notes about placing too much hope in these - or, indeed, in any - institutions as the guarantors of constitutional democracy.

Author: Mark Tushnet
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Published: 09/02/2021
Pages: 220
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.60lbs
Size: 9.00h x 6.00w x 0.42d
ISBN: 9781009048491

About the Author
Tushnet, Mark: - Mark Tushnet is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School. He clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall before beginning his teaching career. He has written more than a dozen books, including Weak Courts, Strong Rights: Judicial Review and Social Welfare Rights in Comparative Constitutional Law (2008) and Advanced Introduction to Comparative Constitutional Law (2014). He was President of the Association of American Law Schools in 2003, and in 2002 was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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