Studies in Constitutional Democracy Book Series

Studies in Constitutional Democracy, the Kinder Institute’s interdisciplinary monograph series with University of Missouri Press, officially launched in April 2016 with the publication of MU Professors James Endersby and Bill Horner’s co-authored Lloyd Gaines and the Fight to End Segregation, the first manuscript to devote itself entirely to exploring the historical and political significance of Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada (1938), an integral, though often overlooked, landmark in civil rights history. Since then, the Institute and Press have continued to put out at least two books per year on topics that plumb the foundations, origins, evolution, and application of constitutional democracy in the U.S. and around the globe, from before the American Revolution into the 21st century.

Please visit the Studies in Constitutional Democracy catalog on the University of Missouri Press website for more information about series titles.

Series Overview

The United States presents world political history with a paradox: a constitutional democracy whose constitution barely mentions democracy. A constantly roiling political free-for-all, it has yet remained more rigidly bound to its constitutional rules, and more constitutionally stable, than any other country. The interplay of these fluid elements is both the inspiration and subject matter for this series.

While examinations of American constitutional democracy are central to the series, we broadly construe this thematic focus to cover not only the philosophical foundations and historical origins of the nation’s democratic and constitutional traditions but also the evolution, application, and reinterpretation of these traditions in later periods and around the globe. With this in mind, topics that we can imagine future titles in the series exploring include:

  • The reception and refraction of constitutional and democratic ideas in American culture
  • Theory and practice of the Electoral College
  • The constitutional or democratic ideas of forgotten forces in American politics
  • Histories of the way particular presidential elections turned on constitutional issues or radically transformed prevailing interpretations and uses of the Constitution
  • The interplay or competition between constitutional democracy and other forms of politics in American history
  • Criticisms and re-appropriations of American constitutional democracy outside the United States


For further information or to submit a manuscript proposal, please contact MU Press Editor in Chief Andrew Davidson (, or one of the series’ two editors, Professors Jeff Pasley ( and Jay Dow (

Jeffrey L. Pasley, Kinder Institute Chair of Early American History, is Professor of History at the University of Missouri–Columbia, author of The First Presidential Contest: 1796 and the Founding of American Democracy and “The Tyranny of Printers”: Newspaper Politics in the Early American Republic, and co-editor of Beyond the Founders: New Approaches to the Political History of the Early American Republic. He also co-edited Volumes 1 and 2 of A Fire Bell in the Past: The Missouri Crisis at 200, published in 2021 as part of the Studies in Constitutional Democracy series.

A scholar of voting and elections, which he approaches from the public choice tradition in political science, Jay Dow is a Professor of Political Science and Constitutional Democracy at University of Missouri and author of Electing the House: The Adoption and Performance of the Single-Member District Electoral System (University Press of Kansas, 2017).