[Excerpt] "Constitutionalism is an ambiguous concept, or at least the term is used in ambiguous ways. Virtually every political theorist of the modern period, certainly during the last two hundred years or more, has used the concept of a political constitution in some way or another. There is very little agreement, however, on what the term constitutionalism actually represents. Some mean it in a restrictive way, others in a more expansive way. Some use it in a proscriptive manner, while others employ it prescriptively (some, perhaps, even use it pejoratively). What nearly everyone who uses the term shares, though, is the thought that modern societies need a constitution in order to be properly constructed. In fact, many maintain that the development and implementation of a constitution is a prerequisite to a nation-state being recognized as legitimate."
David T. Butleritchie, The Confines of Modern Constitutionalism, 3 PIERCE L. REV. 1 (2004). Available at http://scholars.unh.edu/unh_lr/vol3/iss1/3