New Amendment-Metrics: Typologies and Taxonomies of Formal Constitutional Change

This paper picks up the critique of amendment-metrics by Contiades and Fotiadou (2017) and presents a fresh amendment-rate-dataset for the Indian Constitution (104 constitutional amendments across 70 years). Leaving aside problems of causal inference and leximetrics (Tsebelis 2021), my paper is limited to the measurement of observable textual details and patterns (e.g., which articles of the constitutional text are changed, how many words/characters are added or deleted, whether an article is amended once or repetitively). The paper then explores empirical (taxonomies) as well as conceptual (typologies) approaches to the problem of classification of constitutional amendments. While limited to India, the paper presents expository examples that are relevant to the study of constitutional change in general — it also suggests that the ambitious promises of theories of constitutional change often go unfulfilled because classification obstacles are not taken seriously.