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Strong Constitutions – Social-Cognitive Origins of the Separation of Powers - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Strong Constitutions: Social-Cognitive Origins of the Separation of Powers

Maxwell Cameron


The separation of powers emerged with the spread of literacy, became a central part of constitutional thought with the Gutenberg revolution, and faces unprecedented challenges in the current era of electronic communication. It is linked to social-cognitive changes associated with evolving media of communication. Constitutional states use texts to coordinate collective action, and they do so by creating governmental agencies with specific jurisdiction and competence over distinct types of power. The first, and most familiar, is the power to make decisions backed by legally sanctioned coercion. ... More

Keywords: Separation of powers, constitutions, law, literacy, social cognition

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199987443
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199987443.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Maxwell Cameron, author
University of British Columbia