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How well do constitutions travel across time and space?

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The Belgian Constitution of 1831 in Bulgarian constitutional history 1879–1940

This article discusses the question of possible constitutional models in constitutional history. More precisely, it deals with the influence of the Belgian Constitution of 1831 on the Bulgarian Constitution of 1879 which is also known as the Turnovo Constitution. In doing so, this article highlights the fact that one cannot speak of a Belgian model for the Bulgarian constitution. In other words, it seems that, in this case, the Belgian constitution did not travel so well in time and space. Nevertheless, this article also argues that such a discussion should also be included in the grand narrative of constitutional history in Europe in the 19th century. Finally, the claims and counter claims of a possible Belgian model became central during the inter-War period in the discussion about the desirability or not of the establishment of a liberal parliamentary regime in Bulgaria.

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, American University in Bulgaria, Department of Political Science and European Studies, 2700 Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria


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