Comparative Political Process Theory

Expanding Ely's too limited view of what constitutes malfunction and adapting it to address constitutional practices and developments around the world, this paper argues that a comparative political process theory (CPPT) can potentially make a valuable contribution to the discipline. It first isolates and focuses on the key and distinct function in all democratic constitutions of constituting not only the institutions and branches of government, but also the structures and processes of the system of representative democracy. CPPT also provides a vocabulary and conceptual framework for identifying the multiple ways that systems of representative democracy can be undermined and degraded. Thirdly, CPPT develops a normative theory of judicial review that is specifically geared towards this key function of constituting and maintaining a system of representative democracy, and the range of ways that courts can help to protect its structures and processes against the array of challenges.