Methodology and Research Design

Despite the tremendous renaissance of comparative constitutional law, the comparative aspect of the enterprise, as a method and a project, remains under-theorized and imprecise. Methodological self-awareness has not been one of the field’s strengths. In comparative constitutional law (and Constitutionalism in Context more generally) the term “comparative” is often used indiscriminately to describe what, in fact, are several different types of scholarship, each with its own meanings, aims and purposes. What is more, various vocational, jurisprudential, academic, and scientific stakeholders involved in practicing the art of constitutional comparison. This chapter will explore the various types, aims and methodologies deployed in exploring constitutional phenomena comparatively across time and space. In so doing, it will identify some gaps in the field’s contemporary methodological matrix and suggest ways in which these deficiencies may be addressed and overcome.