Political Conflict, Political Polarization, and Constitutional Compliance

In this paper we study the relationship between degree of political conflict, as well as political polarization, within a state and compliance with the country's constitution. While the economic approach to constitutions highlights their role in resolving conflict, recent work on the de jure – de facto distinction in relation to various constitutional rules suggests that political conflict could play a role in explaining the size and evolution of the gap between constitutional text and constitutional practice. We aim to provide a more in-depth analysis of these complex relationships both in the theoretical and empirical dimension. The conclusions of our study shed more light on the recent constitutional crises in several countries.