The Southern Turn in Comparative Constitutional Law

This paper argues for and conceptualizes a “Southern turn” in comparative constitutional law. Drawing on an edited volume in print with OUP, the paper makes three arguments: The first is that the “Global South” has already become a term used productively in various disciplines and in legal scholarship, even though in very different and sometimes undertheorized ways. Secondly, it argues that the ‘Global South’ is a useful concept to capture and understand a constitutional experience that is distinct from, and at the same time deeply entangled with, constitutionalism in the Global North. Thirdly, it contends that the Southern turn implies a specific epistemic, methodological and institutional sensitivity that has implications for comparative constitutional scholarship as a whole. Epistemic reflexivity, methodological pluralism as well as institutional diversification, collaboration and “slow comparison” point the way towards an understanding of the discipline as “world comparative law”.