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Comparative Constitutional Studies

Between Magic and Deceit Günter Frankenberg, Professor, Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Comparative Constitutional Studies takes a rich area of research and teaching and makes it attractive for the classroom setting and beyond. Every constitution has an interesting story to tell, and for this book Günter Frankenberg has selected vibrant examples that encourage readers to practice realism, demonstrate critical spirit and examine the dark side of framers’ reports and normative theories.
Extent: 360 pp
Hardback Price: $150.00 Web: $135.00
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 978 1 78254 897 3
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  • Law - Academic
  • Comparative Law
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Constitutions
Comparative Constitutional Studies takes a rich area of research and teaching and makes it attractive for the classroom setting and beyond. Every constitution has an interesting story to tell, and for this book Günter Frankenberg has selected vibrant examples that encourage readers to practise realism, demonstrate critical spirit and examine the dark side of framers’ reports and normative theories.

This book deals with textbook hegemons, made in Philadelphia, Tokyo, Paris and, more importantly, with other constitutions from the global south, often classified as also-ran. Constitutions reflect conflicts and experiences, political visions and anxieties, ideals and ideologies, and Frankenberg’s interdisciplinary approach serves as an excellent introduction to a new transnational conversation in comparative constitutional law.

Its fresh perspective will make this book as an excellent resource for scholars and students of comparative constitutional law, political science, sociology, and anthropology.
‘Günter Frankenberg is one of the most influential and original authors in the study of comparative constitutionalism, and this is his main contribution in the matter. Comparative Constitutional Studies is an intelligent, informed and profound book, which is called to become a must read for students and professionals in the area.’
– Roberto Gargarella, Torcuato Di Tella University, Argentina

‘The here presented study opens our eyes to the actual histories and experiences of which constitutional texts are merely one embodiment. Shifting between the actors/voices/interests involved in constitutional design, on the one hand, and the constitutional documents on the other, Professor Frankenberg illuminates the dynamics of constitutionalism as part of locally situated and shaped, yet globally interacting societal processes. Integrating the history and theory of political ideas, the study of socio-economic transformation and the merits of anthropological ethnography, constitutionalism unfolds as a crucial dimension of social, political and legal change. This is the stuff that legal analysis should be and, here, is made of.’
– Peer Zumbansen, King’s College London, UK

‘This well-written study confirms Günter Frankenberg's position as one of the most astute and subtle students of the methodology of comparative constitutional law. His emphasis on constitutional law as narrative, and his attention to “other” constitutions, not part of the field's canon, are important contributions.’
– Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School, US
Contents: Preface 1. Constitutions: Between Magic and Deceit PART I Theory and Method 2. Constitutional Idiom and Design 3. Comparing Constitutions: Theory and Method PART II History and Transfer 4. Constitutional Transfer and Experimentalism 5. Constitutional Experimentalism in Nineteenth-Century Europe PART III Constitution as Order 6. Order from Conflict 7. Constituting Against Partition and Fragmentation 8. Constituting States of Exception Epilogue Index