Comparative Matters: The Renaissance of Comparative Constitutional Law

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49:3 Law & Society Review 797-801


As the epigraph to one chapter in his impressive volume, Comparative Matters: The Renaissance of Comparative Constitutional Law, Ran Hirschl offers the following exchange between the archaeologist Howard Carter and his patron, Lord Carnarvon, on Carter's entry into Tutankhamun's tomb: “Can you see anything?” “Yes, wonderful things!” The epigraph might aptly frame the volume as a whole. Hirschl's ambition is to seize a pivotal moment in the development of comparative constitutional scholarship and to help those engaged in the field to see more and better. There is a tone of excitement and affection in the pages, born of the recent and rapid global spread of constitutionalism and judicial review, which has been accompanied by a marked growth in scholarly—and juridical—interest in comparative constitutional study. Hirschl sees the scholarly possibilities attendant on such a moment and regards the comparative constitutional enterprise as poised to enrich our understanding of modern constitutional life.

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