a1 Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Canada
Comparative lawyers have for more than a century sought to increase the understanding of ‘foreign’ legal orders and regulatory systems. Despite some never fully resolved methodological questions, great advances have been made in the comparative study of different regulatory areas both in ‘private’ (contract, tort, corporate, labour) and ‘public’ law (administrative law, environmental law). Comparative constitutional law [CCL] has emerged as a field with particular significance. Born in the context of a politically extremely divided world after the Second World War, CCL has undergone tremendous change in an economically fast-integrating world since the late 1980s. The distinction between ‘liberal’ and ‘socialist’ constitutional orders that characterized early monographical treatments of the subjects has since given way to a very incoherent landscape of varieties of constitutionalism, with enormous consequences for the task of comparative constitutional law. Rather than being able to set side-by-side distinct doctrinal instruments or legal principles that can be associated with a particular constitutional system, the emerging transnational legal-pluralist order demands a methodologically radically opened and methodologically interdisciplinary approach to capture the dynamics of constitutionalization, which characterize today’s processes of public-private norm creation and diffusion.