Comparative Constitutionalism

Primary Number: X

ConStudies Number: CNST 50200

ConStudies CRN: 32573

Primary CRN: X

Instructor: Bambrick, Christina (CBAMBRIC)

Day/Time: TTh 2:00pm-3:15pm


Location: X

The rationale for studying constitutions in comparative context is that we learn more when we put into dialogue diverse perspectives. Indeed, the most important debates in constitutionalism recur across time and place. Although dozens of countries have confronted similar questions, they very often come to different answers. This course explores different instances of constitutionalism, connecting them to the broader political cultures from which they emerge. We examine the political values and moral theories that inform such concepts as liberty, equality, and community within various constitutional traditions. We will debate such elusive concepts as constitutional identity and amendment. In addition to these big theoretical questions, we explore the similarities and differences of institutional arrangements across systems, including understandings of judicial review, the role of constitutional courts, and varying approaches to constitutional maintenance and change. Ultimately, this course aims at greater understanding of constitutionalism in general and the particular cases of it that we study. Moreover, by studying constitutions in comparative context we gain insights into American constitutional understandings, as well.