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Comparative Matters: The Renaissance of Comparative Constitutional Law (Hardback)
  • Comparative Matters: The Renaissance of Comparative Constitutional Law (Hardback)
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Comparative Matters: The Renaissance of Comparative Constitutional Law (Hardback)

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£37.99
Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 14/08/2014
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Comparative study has emerged as the new frontier of constitutional law scholarship as well as an important aspect of constitutional adjudication. Increasingly, jurists, scholars, and constitution drafters worldwide are accepting that 'we are all comparativists now'. And yet, despite this tremendous renaissance, the 'comparative' aspect of the enterprise, as a method and a project, remains under-theorized and blurry. Fundamental questions concerning the very meaning and purpose of comparative constitutional inquiry, and how it is to be undertaken, are seldom asked, let alone answered. In this path-breaking book, Ran Hirschl addresses this gap by charting the intellectual history and analytical underpinnings of comparative constitutional inquiry, probing the various types, aims, and methodologies of engagement with the constitutive laws of others through the ages, and exploring how and why comparative constitutional inquiry has been and ought to be pursued by academics and jurists worldwide. Through an extensive exploration of comparative constitutional endeavours past and present, near and far, Hirschl shows how attitudes towards engagement with the constitutive laws of others reflect tensions between particularism and universalism as well as competing visions of who 'we' are as a political community. Drawing on insights from social theory, religion, history, political science, and public law, Hirschl argues for an interdisciplinary approach to comparative constitutionalism that is methodologically and substantively preferable to merely doctrinal accounts. The future of comparative constitutional studies, he contends, lies in relaxing the sharp divide between constitutional law and the social sciences. Comparative Matters makes a unique and welcome contribution to the comparative study of constitutions and constitutionalism, sharpening our understanding of the historical development, political parameters, epistemology, and methodologies of one of the most intellectually vibrant areas in contemporary legal scholarship.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198714514
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 632 g
Dimensions: 241 x 163 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
He - as elegant in his writings as convincing in his argumentation - invites the comparative lawyer to proceed methodologically beyond legal doctrine stricto sensu. Knowing that an age of legal pluralism requires a diverse and interdisciplinary, rather than rigorous but disciplinarily limited, methodology, one should follow this stimulating invitation with an open mind... Hirschls book sets an inspiring agenda for further research and gives proof that a roadmap can also be a masterpiece. * Markus Kotzur, International Journal of Constitutional Law *
A book of dazzling scope and depth. At once a methodological manifesto and a sweeping intellectual history, Hirschl reminds us that our contemporary debates about universality and particularity in law are simply new variations on a very old theme. This is an instant classic, from which no one will fail to learn something new. * Tom Ginsburg, Leo Spitz Professor of International Law, University of Chicago Law School *
Ran Hirschl solidifies his position at the apex of students of comparative constitutional law. Both his range and depth of interests are remarkable. Every page has insights; it would be a pleasure to assign in courses and seminars, not only for the discussions it will surely provoke, but also for the plethora of papers, dissertations, and books it will surely inspire. * Sanford Levinson, author of Framed: America's 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance *
Comparative Matters is a sharp reminder that law is too important a matter to leave in the hands and minds of lawyers. It is also a sharp reminder that comparative law, properly understood, is, can be and should be more than, yes, comparative law. It is a window to, and a tool for, an understanding of the political, the social, indeed, the human condition itself. Finally it is a gentle reminder that comparative 'law' would be a very different field absent the voice of Ran Hirschl. * J.H.H Weiler, President of the European University Institute *
Comparative Matters truly matters, for if indeed we are now entering the "era of comparative law," we will need instruction and guidance in both the sources for, and possible futures of, this exciting renewal of intellectual exploration. In this wonderful book Ran Hirschl demonstrates that he is uniquely qualified to fill this role. By tracing contemporary debates and challenges in comparative constitutionalism to classical antecedents, he clears the path for a "renaissance" of methodologically and analytically diverse scholarly inquiry into the multifarious ways in which societies might choose to organize themselves constitutionally. In so doing he exemplifies the very transcendence towards which the book is devoted; thus the reach of his learning and the catholicity of his inter-disciplinary applications are precisely what are required for the successful evolution from comparative constitutional law to comparative constitutional studies. * Gary J. Jacobsohn, University of Texas at Austin *

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