Constitution-making in a Globalised Legal Order: A Legal Anthropological Perspective

Globalised legal standards and practices increasingly shape both process and substance of constitutional settlement. This contribution argues that to be able to meaningfully assess the real-life impact of internationalised constitution making, closer attention needs to be paid to the socio-legal dynamics that underpin such processes. This paper sketches the contours of an anthropology of constitution-making, a qualitative framework of analysis that may enable a deeper understanding of how internationally-promoted legal standards and principles interact with local contexts. Such an approach produces ‘thick accounts’ of constitution- making that direct attention to the multiple ways in which international frameworks and tools are used, understood, and adapted by a variety of actors and to their broader effects on socio-political processes. It also opens avenues for how to apply a qualitative-empirical methodology to comparative analyses of constitution-making processes.