Author Archives: Ben Manski

About Ben Manski

I am Assistant Professor of Sociology and Director of Next System Studies at George Mason University. I study the participation of ordinary people in the deliberate constitution of their societies. My work takes in social movements, law, politics, climate and ecology, and the corporation, focusing on democracy, democratization, and constitutionalism, and I have published widely on these themes. In the past, I practiced public interest law for eight years and managed national non-profit organizations, direct action campaigns, and political campaigns and parties for twenty five years. I am an Institute for Policy Studies Associate Fellow, Next System Project Research Fellow, Liberty Tree Foundation Fellow, and a Critical Realism Network Associated Fellow. For a more extensive biography, see

An Earth Constitution? Building a Global Movement

BY Ben Manski

This article was originally published on the Great Transition Initiative as part of the Forum “An Earth Constitution: Has Its Time Come?”

Does the process of constitution-making matter more than the particularities of constitutional design? Recently published research by a growing range of social scientists and legal scholars indicates yes. For instance, in their book Constituents Before Assembly, Todd Eisenstadt, A. Carl LeVan, and Tofigh Maboudi provide their findings from a sweeping empirical analysis of the effects of popular participation in constitutionalization.1 The takeaway? As noted in my Law & Society Review review, “participatory constitution-making…has a lasting and systematic effect on subsequent democratization.”2

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