What is the difference between constitution and constitutionalism?

The main difference between constitution and constitutionalism is that the constitution is a system of fundamental principles by which a nation or state is governed, while constitutionalism essentially refers to adherence to a constitutional system of government .

Almost all countries or states in the world have a constitution, but not every government is constitutional.

Key areas covered

1. What is constitution - definition, characteristics 2. What is constitutionalism - definition, characteristics 3. Difference between constitution and constitutionalism - comparison of the main differences

key terms

Constitution, constitutionalism Difference Between Constitution and Constitutionalism - Comparative Summary

What is constitution

A constitution is a basic set of rules and principles that define how a country should be governed, what rights its citizens have, and how power is distributed. It forms the most important organizational principles of a political state. In some countries it is a specific document (e.g. in the USA). However, in some other countries, such as the UK, a constitution is a collection of documents, statues, as well as traditional practices that are usually considered political matters. Almost all countries or states in the world have a constitution, but not every government is constitutional.

If you look at the content of a constitution, it essentially contains rules and principles in the following areas:

Guidelines and Rules for Conducting Elections - specifies when and how elections are held, who can run an election, descriptions of the electoral system, and regulations on election supervision.

Main branches of government and their relationships - It describes the branches of government; Typically, the executive, legislative and judicial branches are the three main pillars of a democratic political system. The constitution also sets out the powers of each branch and how they elect and remove persons they control (chief executives).

Difference Between Constitution and Constitutionalism

In addition, a constitution also covers and describes many topics such as the rights of citizens, constitutional amendments, the overall form of government (for example, the American Constitution states that it will be both democratic and federal), values ​​and principles of the nation, etc. The elements or constituent parts of a constitution can also differ from country to country.

What is constitutionalism?

Constitutionalism is a political philosophy or doctrine based on the concept that the authority of government is determined by the constitution. It advocates the concept that the state is not free to do whatever it wants. It also gives legitimacy to a democratic government.

In fact, constitutionalism is much more important than a written constitution. As already mentioned, while almost all countries have constitutions, this does not mean that they are acting in conformity with the constitution.

Difference Between Constitution and Constitutionalism

definition

A constitution is the basic set of rules and principles that determine how a country is to be governed, what rights its citizens have, and how power is distributed, while constitutionalism is a political philosophy or doctrine based on the concept that the Government authority is determined by the Constitution.

nature

A constitution is a system of basic principles that describes the governance of a nation or state, while constitutionalism essentially relates to adherence to a constitutional system of government.

diploma

A constitution is a system of basic principles that describes the governance of a nation or state, while constitutionalism essentially relates to adherence to a constitutional system of government. Hence, this is the main difference between constitution and constitutionalism. In addition, constitutionalism is more important than a written constitution.

Reference:

1. “What is a constitution?” Tutor2u, 03/21/2021, available here . 2. “What is constitutionalism? What are its principles? Learn more for UPSC. ”BYJUS, Dec. 18, 2020, available here .

Image courtesy:

1st Constitution of India ”By Nikhil 1830978 - Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the author: Hasa

Hasa holds a BA in English, French and Translation Studies. She is currently reading for a Masters in English. Her areas of interest include literature, language, linguistics and also food.