Founding Republics in France and America: A Study in Constitutional Governance

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9780700607341: Founding Republics in France and America: A Study in Constitutional Governance
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Recalling Tocqueville's exhortation for the French to "look to America" for a better understanding of their own government, John Rohr returns the favor by revealing how much we can learn about American constitutionalism from a close study of French governance.

The French and American republics both emerged from the same revolutionary era and share a common commitment to separation of powers, rule of law, and republicanism. Even so, the two constitutional traditions are quite different. France, after all, has replaced its constitution at least thirteen times since 1789, while the American constitution has endured essentially intact. Yet, as Rohr shows, French constitutionalism merits our careful attention.

Focusing upon the founding of the French Fifth Republic and the drafting of its constitution, Rohr compares the nations' divergent approaches to executive, legislative, and judicial power; independent administrative authority and discretion; and the relation of administrative law to statutory law. His analysis of France's divided versus our unified executive, the two presidents' exceptional powers, and their influence on the legislative process provides particularly fresh insights into how the two constitutional traditions promote and inhibit the capacity for administrative action.

Rohr shows that French administrative institutions are much more thoroughly developed than their American counterparts due to recurrent presidential and constitutional crises. Without such a strong public administration, daily life in France would likely be extremely unstable if not quite chaotic. The proper role of the French institutions, he suggests, is largely determined by their relationship to elected officials whereas their American counterparts are essentially shaped by the constitutional order.

A model for future comparative work in constitutional law and public administration, Rohr's study should help us see that the constitutional path we've pursued wasn't the only possibility—and why we've chosen that route nevertheless. As such, it should have great appeal for students, teachers, and practitioners in U.S. and French law, politics, and public administration.

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From the Back Cover:

"A splendid book. This detailed and learned comparison of American and French practices and traditions is an excellent starting point for anyone wishing to understand the constitutional and administrative basis of American and French politics."--Ezra N. Suleiman, author of Politics, Power, and Bureaucracy in France: The Administrative Elite

"Rohr is an outstanding scholar who has achieved something very uncommon with this comparative legal and intellectual history of the French and U.S. constitutions regarding public administration. A very significant contribution to the field."--David Rosenbloom, author of Public Administration and the Law

"A solid scholarly contribution to our understanding of France and to comparative politics and public law. The U.S.-French comparison is not only intrinsically interesting but it has hardly ever been attempted in the detail presented here."--William Safran, author of The French Polity

About the Author:

John A. Rohr is a professor of public administration at the Center for Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. A recipient of the ASPA Distinguished Research Award, he is the author of five other books, including the classic To Run a Constitution: The Legitimacy of the Administrative State and the recently published Public Service, Ethics, and Constitutional Practice. Rohr was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow for the 1998-99 academic year.

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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 1995. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Recalling Tocqueville's exhortation for the French to "look to America" for a better understanding of their own government, John Rohr returns the favor by revealing how much we can learn about American constitutionalism from a close study of French governance. The French and American republics both emerged from the same revolutionary era and share a common commitment to separation of powers, rule of law, and republicanism. Even so, the two constitutional traditions are quite different. France, after all, has replaced its constitution at least thirteen times since 1789, while the American constitution has endured essentially intact. Yet, as Rohr shows, French constitutionalism merits our careful attention. Focusing upon the founding of the French Fifth Republic and the drafting of its constitution, Rohr compares the nations' divergent approaches to executive, legislative, and judicial power; independent administrative authority and discretion; and the relation of administrative law to statutory law. His analysis of France's divided versus our unified executive, the two presidents' exceptional powers, and their influence on the legislative process provides particularly fresh insights into how the two constitutional traditions promote and inhibit the capacity for administrative action. Rohr shows that French administrative institutions are much more thoroughly developed than their American counterparts due to recurrent presidential and constitutional crises. Without such a strong public administration, daily life in France would likely be extremely unstable if not quite chaotic. The proper role of the French institutions, he suggests, is largely determined by their relationship to elected officials whereas their American counterparts are essentially shaped by the constitutional order. A model for future comparative work in constitutional law and public administration, Rohr's study should help us see that the constitutional path we've pursued wasn't the only possibility--and why we've chosen that route nevertheless. As such, it should have great appeal for students, teachers, and practitioners in U.S. and French law, politics, and public administration. Seller Inventory # AAN9780700607341

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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 1995. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Recalling Tocqueville s exhortation for the French to look to America for a better understanding of their own government, John Rohr returns the favor by revealing how much we can learn about American constitutionalism from a close study of French governance. The French and American republics both emerged from the same revolutionary era and share a common commitment to separation of powers, rule of law, and republicanism. Even so, the two constitutional traditions are quite different. France, after all, has replaced its constitution at least thirteen times since 1789, while the American constitution has endured essentially intact. Yet, as Rohr shows, French constitutionalism merits our careful attention. Focusing upon the founding of the French Fifth Republic and the drafting of its constitution, Rohr compares the nations divergent approaches to executive, legislative, and judicial power; independent administrative authority and discretion; and the relation of administrative law to statutory law. His analysis of France s divided versus our unified executive, the two presidents exceptional powers, and their influence on the legislative process provides particularly fresh insights into how the two constitutional traditions promote and inhibit the capacity for administrative action. Rohr shows that French administrative institutions are much more thoroughly developed than their American counterparts due to recurrent presidential and constitutional crises. Without such a strong public administration, daily life in France would likely be extremely unstable if not quite chaotic. The proper role of the French institutions, he suggests, is largely determined by their relationship to elected officials whereas their American counterparts are essentially shaped by the constitutional order. A model for future comparative work in constitutional law and public administration, Rohr s study should help us see that the constitutional path we ve pursued wasn t the only possibility--and why we ve chosen that route nevertheless. As such, it should have great appeal for students, teachers, and practitioners in U.S. and French law, politics, and public administration. Seller Inventory # AAN9780700607341

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