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The Post-Racial Hoax in South Africa and the United States
Author: Arnold Dodge
Sanitized Apartheid: The Post-Racial Hoax in South Africa and the United States examines the similar histories of South Africa and the US. After the invasion of foreigners, entire races of people were slaughtered, enslaved, and delegitimized. Heroic figures emerged along the way, only to have their efforts nullified by powerful white people. The historical parallels continued as freedom fighters won victories for the oppressed, in some cases codifying equality under the law. However, a powerful de facto current in the social/cultural environments remains in both countries. The book squarely addresses the vile strain which calls for a halt to protest and an acceptance of what is. The author examines these issues through an exhaustive research agenda and a personal narrative.
While comparative constitutional law is a well-established field, less attention has been paid so far to the comparative dimension of constitutional history. The present volume, edited by Francesco Biagi, Justin O. Frosini and Jason Mazzone, aims to address this shortcoming by bringing focus to comparative constitutional history, which holds considerable promise for engaging and innovative work along several key avenues of inquiry. The essays contained in this volume focus on the origins and design of constitutional governments and the sources that have impacted the ways in which constitutional systems began and developed, the evolution of the principle of separation of powers among branches of government, as well as the origins, role and function of constitutional and supreme courts.

Contributors: Mark Somos, Gohar Karapetian, Justin O. Frosini, Viktoriia Lapa, Miguel Manero de Lemos, Francesco Biagi, Catherine Andrews, Gonçalo de Almeida Ribeiro, Mario Alberto Cajas-Sarria, and Fabian Duessel.
In Explaining, Interpreting, and Theorizing Religion and Myth: Contributions in Honor of Robert A. Segal, nineteen renowned scholars offer a collection of essays addressing the persisting question of how to approach religion and myth as academic categories. Taking their cue from the work of Robert A. Segal, they discuss how to theorize about religion and myth from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. With cases from ancient Greece and Mesopotamia to East Asia and the modern world by and large, and engaging with diverse disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, anthropology, history, film, theology, and religious studies among others, the volume establishes a synthesis that demonstrates the pervasiveness as well as the pitfalls of the categories “religion” and “myth” in the world.
In: Comparative Constitutional History

Abstract

This chapter compares constitutional institutions that political thinkers in Revolutionary France, early nineteenth-century Spain, and Mexico devised with the aim of protecting constitutional order from abuses by one or more of the branches of government. The chapter focuses on two different types of historical institutions: those with moderating powers and those with conserving powers. Moderating institutions acted as buffers between legislative and executive authorities to prevent either from encroaching upon the prerogatives of the other. Conservative institutions undid unconstitutional actions and supervised constitutional order. The chapter shows that Mexicans were well-acquainted with the constitutional debates surrounding both types of institutions in France and Spain. It demonstrates that Mexican politicians not only endorsed these two types of institutions in their constitutional plans, but also reworked them to create an innovative institution of constitutional control in the 1836 Mexico Constitution: the Supreme Conservative Power.

In: Comparative Constitutional History
In: Comparative Constitutional History

Abstract

The judicial review of constitutional amendments in Colombia has evolved through the activism of constitutional judges rather than the texts of the Constitutions. In times of judicial crisis and reform to the judiciary it becomes more interesting because the constitutional judges have reviewed amendments regarding the judicial branch, as several of them have been declared unconstitutional during the last four decades. This chapter tells the trajectory of the review of constitutional amendments to the Judiciary, suggesting that one of the factors that could explain these rulings is the defence of the judicial branch by the constitutional judges. In this way, it tells the interdependency between politics and Law on the decisions that have limited the power of the Congress to reform the Judiciary, by the Supreme Court, between 1978 and 1991; as well as by the Constitutional Court as of the Constitution of 1991.

In: Comparative Constitutional History
Author: Fabian Duessel

Abstract

Individual access to constitutional justice can take many forms. One of the most prominent examples is the individual constitutional complaint. In many constitutional courts, the constitutional complaint has become the key method for individuals to assert constitutional claims. In Germany, constitutional complaint is very well established and it extends to complaints against judicial judgments. This chapter examines individual access to constitutional justice in South Korea and Taiwan. Although the legal systems of both countries have been heavily influenced by German constitutional practices, constitutional complaint against judicial judgments is explicitly prohibited in Korea; in Taiwan such a possibility was only officially introduced in 2019 and awaits implementation in 2022. By comparatively tracing and analysing the constitutional conditions, and nature and evolution of the mechanism of individual constitutional complaint in South Korea and Taiwan, this chapter aims to shed light on variations and convergences in individual access to constitutional justice in East Asia.

In: Comparative Constitutional History
Author: Mark Somos

Abstract

George Bancroft (1800–1891) was an influential statesman, historian and educator. He was one of the first Americans to attend the University of Göttingen as a young man in order to master multiple academic disciplines and educational techniques that the young United States needed. At Göttingen, Bancroft became fascinated by German constitutional theory and history, their connection to politics and human geography, and the forerunners of German legal science. After his return to the United States, Bancroft translated into English books by Arnold Heeren, his former professor. Bancroft also set up a school and adopted German teaching methods at Round Hill in Northampton, Massachusetts, employed German scholars, and intensely engaged Göttingen academics and other Americans who looked to Germany for pedagogic and constitutional inspiration. A close reading of Bancroft’s translations and correspondence suggests that this was not a one-way exchange. Bancroft was instrumental not only in importing German texts and practices into the United States, but also formulated American notions of progress, abolitionism and state-systems that in turn shaped the so-called Göttingen School.

In: Comparative Constitutional History

Abstract

Located at a crossroads between politics and law, constitutional preambles often represent the outcome of debates between different political forces over the founding principles of the Constitution. The discussions that took place during the drafting of the Preamble to the Ukrainian Constitution provide an insightful case study of this phenomenon. Influenced by its Soviet past and an unstable political environment, Ukraine has seen severe struggles among the political parties in order to reach an agreement over issues of particular sensitivity to the nation. By examining the case of Ukraine and its 1996 Constitution, this chapter also aims to contribute to the debate concerning the legal value of constitutional preambles.

In: Comparative Constitutional History