Available in Russian
Author: Igor Kravets
Keywords: separation of powers; branches of government; fourth branch of government; constitutionalism; rational choice; constitutionalization; constitutional democracy; Montesquieu; constitutional design
The article is a detailed review examining the complex issues of design of the fourth branch of power in a system of government formed as a constitutional democracy. Modern constitutionalism as an institutional mechanism of democratic governance has developed in the context of constitutional regulation and the experience of various institutions that ensure the protection of democracy. These institutions for protecting constitutional democracy may have constitutional or legislative status. They may have various names and be considered in the doctrine of constitutionalism or in the science of constitutional law as unnamed and/or unnumbered branches of government because of various conceptual approaches and the plurality of their number. The fourth branch of public power is gradually gaining popularity, occupying its constitutional position in the system of state bodies. In the field of comparative constitutional law, there is a significant pool of studies of various forms and institutions of the fourth branch of government but there are few scholarly works that summarize analytic approaches and evaluate the constitutional practice of fourth-branch institutions in various states. New methodological approaches to the study of institutions for protecting constitutional democracy as a fourth branch of government are based on the idea that this form of public power is a collective and integrating concept. The various forms and types of the fourth branch of government seem to be united by a common, constitutionally significant goal – to provide effective protection of democratic government. The article’s detailed review of the book analyzes the multifaceted issues of the constitutional design of the fourth branch of government, namely, the institution’s status, organization and activities, and efficiency throughout the XX–XXI centuries; the conceptual foundations of constitutional design and their logical and functional justification; and some constitutional-legal and institutional forms of the fourth branch of government such as constitutional courts, election commissions, state audit bodies, and anti-corruption agencies, with examples of their activities in the countries of North and Latin America, South Africa and Asia.
About the author: Igor Kravets – Professor, Doctor of Science in Law, Head of the Chair of Theory and History of State and Law and Constitutional Law of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia.
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