Comparative Constitutional Decision-making: An Interdisciplinary Research Agenda

Almost everyone in the field of comparative constitutional law is in favor of interdisciplinary law/social science scholarship. But there have been very few attempts thus far to examine how such research should proceed in practice. Is true interdisciplinary synergy possible or is it more a question of using the insights of each discipline to test the blind spots of the other? This paper explores this question through a case study of the potential benefits of interdisciplinary scholarship on constitutional decision-making. The point of such research, the paper argues, must ultimately be to understand what constitutional judges committed to liberal-democratic constitutionalism can do to promote this ideal in the context in which they find themselves. By synthesizing the insights of empirical political science and normative legal scholarship, the field should be able to say more than ‘be strategic’, on the one hand, or ‘be principled’, on the other.