Book Roundtable on Joseph Fishkin and Willy Forbath’s The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution (HUP, 2022)
Both U.S. and comparative constitutional scholars generally view the U.S. Constitution as always having been a thin one in respect of egalitarian distributional commitments. Against that backdrop, this book offers a rich historical and theoretical exploration of a largely forgotten tradition of constitutional thought and politics in the U.S. – one that held that the U.S. Constitution imposes a duty on lawmakers and others to prevent oligarchy and ensure a broad distribution of wealth, opportunity, and economic and political power. This panel brings together leading scholars of American and comparative constitutionalism to discuss: How persuasive is this book‘s recasting of the U.S. constitutional past? How useful is it to examine constitutional history through the lens of political economy? And what are the intellectual and political stakes of reviving a left or progressive perspective on constitutional political economy?