Book Review: “Toward a Model of Constitutions: How Human Rights, Lincoln’s Address, and Berlin’s Liberties Explain Democracies” by Williams Kuttikadan (published 2022)


Bottom line up front:  I recommend this book to anyone looking for a “how did we/they get there” argument, and to anyone wanting an understanding of how various world “constitutions” are living documents that grow with modern societies.   

Toward a Model of Constitutions takes complex government frameworks – some new, some created over long periods of time – and breaks them down to explain them simply and with the use of diagrams while drawing comparisons to other government motivations for their constitutions.  The author scatters in quotes from thought leaders, as well as well-known government influencers to argue the foundations and basis for the documents in question.  

This book must be read in sequence as it builds on each previous argument…showing how all constitutions of the world evolve to support their governments through trial and error.  I enjoyed the starting point in which the author emphasized the initial motivations of governments and how power was organized for leadership.  

It is also a great example of how each constitution is influencing the next.  Leaders are looking over at what other leaders are doing, people are paying attention to what is expected in other countries for what the citizen benefits and tax.  The most thought-provoking part is what part society plays in each constitution and how much is expected from the government by those that are governed.  The diagrams do a tremendous job of illustrating something that must be given by society on a continuous basis to have an effective form of continuous government.  

 The author draws on the importance of law, fairness, and equal power struggles with the mindset that most constitutions are striving toward that outcome, however, that is not true of all countries.  Even the very essence of fairness gets looked at in this book through a political science/law lens but again all those things must be defined early on with an understanding of what is expected from the government and those that are governed. This is the theory of government that the pendulum is constantly swinging from.  

Where can I get the book?

I want to thank the team who sent this book to us. We did receive this book for free but I want you to know that am not being compensated for this review or any potential sales. This review is my own.

If you want to purchase this book you can find it on Amazon here.

the Author

from Google:

Williams Kuttikadan is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta, one of the top management institutes in India. He has been recognized for writing excellence at both national and international levels. With many years spent working across blue-chip firms, including in high-tech R&D and associated patenting, he understands the interplay between business and government regulations and how the two influence each other.  Research for this book became his passion project at the beginning of the 2008 global financial crisis. He now offers this framework in the hope that democratic governments will be able to develop a larger set of possible solutions.

Published by Scott

The mountains are calling, let me grab a jacket and my kids.

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