Constitutional Theory

Sunday, November 1st, 2009, 5:00 pm

Location: meet up in tearoom, head over to Ryerson

Lecture by Noah Scweber


The core curriculum here does a pretty good job of forcing everybody to learn some basic political theory. One of the subfields that’s left relatively untouched, though, is constitutional theory. This is understandable, since the notion of the constitution as something deserving its own branch of study is relatively recent; serious constitutional theory really began in 1962, with the publication of Alexander Bickel’s The Least Dangerous Branch. Yet constitutional theory occupies a privileged position among subfields of political theory: it is simultaneously foundational and specific enough to be applied in practical politics. In my talk, I’ll try to give an outline of modern constitutional theory, with emphasis on the really weird bits.

There will also be some kind of food.


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