The main aim of the module is to introduce students to the most important theoretical and conceptual frameworks which were developed in legal and political science scholarship concerning the relevance as well as the functions of constitutions and constitutionalism in contemporary States and beyond. Students will learn about constitutions from different perspectives. They will study constitutions as fundamental political institutions, as legal texts of fundamental political, social and even economic importance, and as bases of political, social and legal culture in a given polity. Students will also learn about the major types of constitutions in the world.
The main objective of the module is to enable students to acquire the theoretical and conceptual toolkit which is necessary to critically understand and analyse the role as well as the relevance of constitutions and constitutionalism. They will be familiar with the central notions of constitutionalism, the fundamental principles of constitutional law, and with fundamental dilemmas and controversies of constitutions and constitutionalism.
The module will be taught in the form of seminars. These will include limited frontal teaching, individual and small group work, and group discussions. The central aim of teaching session is to enable students to develop fundamental academic skills, learn by way of informed reflection, and to contrast and discuss their ideas with their peers. As study material, students will work with primary legal sources (e.g., legal provisions, judicial decisions) and with academic sources (i.e., academic literature, other academic materials). These will be made available in advance through Canvas.
Students are expected to participate in the tutor- or student-led discussions in class.
Students are expected to prepare in advance for each teaching session. The minimum requirement is to read the material provided on Canvas.
The course is intended for students who are interested in law/legal studies, politics and public policy, and international relations or international law.