This article looks at some of the theories that have been posited to help explain the rise and fall of civilisations. This article introduces the concept of the hard and soft constitution. Briefly, this is the principle that the flexibility of the constitution – it liberality – has a direct effect upon the success or failure of the state. The more flexible (or soft) the constitution the greater is the likelihood of success, as flexibility requires the development of shared power, dynamic tension, yet an overall cohesion that brings much needed political, social and economic stability.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/noel_cox/5/