Skip to content

Mark Tushnet & Dimitry Kochenov, Introduction, in Research Handbook on the Politics of Constitutional Law (Mark Tushnet & Dimitry Kochenov eds., Edward Elgar) (forthcoming Nov. 2023).

Abstract: This is the introduction of the Research Handbook on the Politics of Constitutional Law (EE 2023) uniting 47 academics and 38 chapters, which offer a variety of scholarly perspectives on this eternal topic. Indeed, constitutional law is a “semi-autonomous” discipline: Constitutional law as such consists of texts and doctrines interpreting those texts that constitute the discursive domain of professional lawyers. But, as all good constitutional lawyers know, those texts and doctrines are completely and complexly intertwined with the political systems within which constitutional law is found. For that reason, understanding constitutional law means understanding constitutional politics as well. The Handbook deals with the politics of constitutional law around the world. We have chosen to organize the Handbook around “foundations,” “structures,” “rights,” and “futures.” The content of the categories of “structures” and “rights” is obvious; by “foundations,” we mean the key reasons, principles, trends, and extra-legal considerations underpinning constitutional creation and design; and by “futures,” some of the questions that seem likely to shape constitutional development around the world. The draft of the introduction is accompanied by the table of contents, as well as by a full list of contributors to the Handbook as submitted to the publisher.