Spring 2011 - Comparative Constitutional Law
Course ID: 397S Unique # 29940 Credit Hours: 3
3:30 pm - 5:20 pm
This course is restricted to upper division students only.
A constitution is the idealized self-portrait of a nation: it reflects where a country stands no less than how it would like to be perceived. In this seminar, we will examine how similar constitutional issues are resolved in various countries around the world in order to gain insight both into the nature of the societies involved and of the possibilities and limits of constitutional law. Some of the topics we will deal with: constitutional points of departure (adaptations, new beginnings, utopias, constitutions as lies); constitutions as social blueprints (constitutional views of the family, of education, the welfare state); varieties of constitutional rights (political rights, social rights, constitutional goals); the impact of constitutions (judicial review, political questions, the impact of constitutions on ordinary law). Students will write and present papers that interpret and analyze a particular constitution of their choice. Xeroxed materials.