Constitutional Studies is a co-curricular and interdisciplinary program at Carroll College that seeks to encourage inquiry and foster debate about issues attendant on constitutional government, broadly understood. It does so by programming lectures, academic panels, and student activities designed to support this mission. Beginning in the fall of 2014, we hope to offer a minor in Constitutional Studies.
As a traditional liberal arts program, Constitutional Studies aims to expose “each student at Carroll, through personal and institutional means…to value systems with which one can readily identify, including secular values such as the worth of work and the use of the intellect, humanistic values centering on the uniqueness and dignity of the person, and religious and moral values concerned with one's relationship to God, self, and others” (Carroll College Mission Statement). Given the egalitarian goals of most modern constitutions, the program also supports Carroll’s mission to “rededicate its spiritual, academic, and social resources to the service of the citizens of Montana, its home, and to the worldwide human family through continuing efforts to guarantee to individuals, to groups, and especially to minorities the right to life, to personal and social dignity, and to equality of opportunity in all aspects of human activity” (Carroll College Mission Statement). These are some of the questions we seek to ask:
- What is the proper relationship between government institutions and civil society?
- What are the philosophical foundations of human rights and constitutional democracy?
- How do political and philosophical principles inform our understanding of the requirements of a constitutional republic?
- How do constitutional governments seek to reconcile the demands of church and state, faith and reason, and god and man?
- How can America sustain its experiment in constitutional government?
- What do international law and the constitutional orders of other countries teach us about constitutional democracy?
As part of our programming, Constitutional Studies sponsors an annual lecture on an issue relating to the historical, philosophic, legal and political dimensions of constitutional government. You can find a list of our lectures below.
Justice Jim Rice, Montana Supreme Court, "The Supreme Court and Racial Equality: From Lincoln to Obama" - March 14, 2013.
"I became involved in State and Federal Politics right out of high school, working on a U.S. Congressional Race in Nevada. When I came to Carroll College, the Political Science Department and Professors helped me develop the critical thinking and analysis skills that I now use almost everyday as I continue to work in Democratic politics across the nation. I have now worked in five states. At Carroll, my Professors would challenge me, and force me to look not only at my values through the lens of a political science major but also helped me to develop the critical writing skills that I now use daily. Carroll College and the Political Science Department has given me the leg up that I have needed in a competitive work environment."
- Austin Lyle, Class of 2011