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God(s) Over Constitution: Transnational Constitutionalism in the 21st Century

ISBN13: 9780754678595
To be Published: January 2026
Publisher: Routledge
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £115.00

This book focuses on the two great shifts in constitutionalist thinking during the last century: the remaking of constitutionalism from a tool of state power to an attempt to systematize, institutionalize, and implement an international higher law; and the rejection of this development by transcendent, universalist, autonomous religious communities and their efforts to displace secular universalist normative frameworks with transcendent religious frameworks no less universal.

Author Larry Cata Backer analyzes the movement from ethnic or nationalist constitutions to transnational constitutionalism, and then turns his focus to the rise of religiously based or theocratic systems challenging the orthodoxy of the secular post-World War II supra-constitutionalist project.

The book further examines the implications of these seismic movements in global constitutionalism, both at the level of constitutional theory and at the "as-applied" level of the law of the constitution now possible within states.

Backer looks closely at a number of constitutions recently enacted in Muslim-majority and Marxist-Leninist states from the perspective of this ideological constitutionalism developed in the book, and does so from outside the usual Western view that tends to explain these constitutional experiments solely in relation to their conformity with the norms, values and methods of Western constitutions.

In all, God(s) Over Constitution provides a new and unique framework for understanding this new constitutionalism, and proposes a more useful way of understanding the great conflicts between the secular and theocratic approaches to it.

Comparative Law, Jurisprudence, Other Jurisdictions , Middle East
1. Introduction
2. The Constitution Before the Gods: The Traditional Constitution
3. The Gods Arise: Transnational Constitutionalism
4. The Gods Acquire Form: The Normative Structure of Constitutionalism and Its Mechanics
5. Testing the System: Policing Soft Coups in Honduras 2009
Brazil 2016, and Venezuela 2017
6. The Other Gods: Constitutional Theocracy or Theocratic Constitutionalism? 7. The Other Gods: Authoritarian Constitutionalism
8. Blowback: Constitutionalism, the Traditional State, and Emerging Global Orders
9. Looking Forward: The Future of Constitutionalism in a Larger Context