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By Thomas Erskine May

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There is a certain logical problem in separating the two, because whether government is effective depends partly on whether the people acquiesce to it. Effective government has two parts: it means government that is both capable of coordinating politics and society and succeeds in practice in doing so, where success depends on 24 Galligan and ­Versteeg popular acquiescence. In explaining the theory, however, it is useful to keep the two elements separate. The logic of effective government can be expressed in this way.

3; art. 41, § 3, cl. 2 (amended ­1995). Uganda Constitution, 1995, art.  § 2a. 9 Theoretical P ­ erspectives 13 a “sham constitution” (Law and Versteeg 2013). Future research might profitably explore the balance within each national constitution between the past, the present, and the future (see Ginsburg et al. 2013), while at the same time acknowledging the pressures originating from outside the nation. 2 Transnational Values and Diffusion The influence of the external environment is the perspective that Benedikt Goderis and Mila Versteeg develop in their essay (Chapter 4 in this volume), where they emphasize the influence of transnational factors, international bodies, and the norms and values of foreign nations.

Russell Hardin adopts this approach in arguing that “[e]stablishing a constitution is itself a massive act of coordination, which, if it is stable for a while, creates a convention that depends for its maintenance on its self­-generating incentives and expectations” (Hardin 2013: 61). There is in fact a double convention: “Government derives its power (not its right) to rule by some specific form of coordination that is a convention and the populace acquiesces in that rule by its own convention.

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Democracy in Europe: a history by Thomas Erskine May


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