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The Story of Constitutions: Discovering the We in Us

Today, 189 out of 193 officially recognised nation-states have a written constitution, and 75% of these have been ratified since 1975. How did this worldwide diffusion of constitutions come about?

Wim Voermans
27 November 2023

In this book (Cambridge University Press 2023), Wim Voermans traces the varied and surprising story of constitutions since the agricultural revolution of c.10,000 B.C. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, Voermans shows how human evolution, human nature and the history of thought have all played their part in shaping modern constitutions. Constitutions, in turn, have shaped our societies, creating imagined communities of trust and recognition that allow us to successfully co-operate with one another. Engagingly and wittily told, the story of constitutions is vital to understanding our world, our civilisations and, most significantly, ourselves.

The Story of Constitutions is in part a translation, an adaptation and update of the Dutch version (Het Verhaal van de grondwet) published a few years ago with Prometheus publishers: Amsterdam 2019.

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