The French Constitutional Council, a quasi-judicial body created at the dawn of the Fifth Republic, functioned in relative obscurity for almost two decades until its emergence in the 1980s as a pivotal actor in the French policymaking process. Alec Stone focuses on how this once docile institution, through its practice of constitutional review, has become a meaningfully autonomous actor in the French political system. After examining the formal prohibition against judicial review in France, Stone illustrates how politicians and the Council have collaborated over the course of the last decade, often unintentionally and in the service of contradictory agendas, to significantly enhance Council''s power. While the Council came to function as a third house of Parliament, the legislative work of the government and Parliament was meaningfully "juridicized." Through a discussion of broad theoretical issues, Stone then expands the scope of his analysis to the politics of constitutional review in Germany, Spain, and Austria.
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