Upper Left Quadrant Details Upper Right Quadrant Details Lower Left Quadrant Details Lower Right Quadrant Details Details



A constitution is a body of rules defining and limiting power relationships within a political community. This body can be comprised of a number of legal acts accumulated across time or can be unified in a single written document. In all cases, a common focus of constitutional charters is the organization of the various branches of state’s authority as well as the limitation of their intervention with respect to individual and collective liberties.
The vertical axis describes the tension between liberty and state, the core feature of any constitution. Most contemporary constitutions clearly distinguish between one set of norms regulating the state organization and another part defining citizens’ rights. The horizontal axis stresses the fact that different constitutional actors can be at play, depending on historical epochs or political arenas, with a swing of the pendulum from individualism to collectivism.
The LRQ lies at the foundation of the constitutional tradition, as the struggle among powerful estates to assert privileges and franchises in the pre-statist medieval environment. Constitutional deals are continuously redefined, with the crown as one among several contracting partners. The LLQ concerns the administration of justice as the private sphere of individual freedom. Courts are the principal institution to guarantee the proper working of this basic constitutional pillar. The ULQ is a distinctive accomplishment of XIX century constitutions, with the state authority concentrated in the legislative assembly and with individual rights representing the constitution’s core element. The URQ reflects the contemporary collectivistic trend towards constitutional charters incorporating wider social demands and values. Thus transforming constitutional law into a dynamic arena for the more or less effective implementation of a vast array of norms.