About the Fellow Group
Over the last half century, there has been a global convergence upon ideals of constitutional supremacy, and a corresponding proliferation of courts and tribunals assigned with extensive constitutional and judicial review powers. Consequently, the constitutional arena has become a central forum for dealing with core moral dilemmas, key policy-making challenges and contentious political questions. This global trend is arguably one of the most significant developments in 21st century government. Meanwhile, in younger polities, challenges related to the drafting of constitutions and establishing the authority and legitimacy of an independent judiciary occupy the political arena. In an increasing number of settings worldwide, the constitutional order itself faces considerable challenges by religion, ethnic rifts, economic crises, security threats and resurgent populism.
The Max Planck Fellow Group in Comparative Constitutionalism—headed by Prof. Dr. Ran Hirschl—was established in 2018 to explore the interrelations between the constitutional arena (texts, institutions, jurisprudence) and the political sphere within which it operates, in particular as it pertains to the governance of collective identity, religion, urbanization, and economic inequality across time and place. In so doing, we aim to advance an interdisciplinary approach, methodological and substantive, to the study of comparative constitutionalism, and to foster dialogue between legal scholars and social scientists studying a similar set of phenomena from different disciplinary angles.