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Mathias Völzke

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About our research

Constitutionalism has gone global. A commitment to the rule of law, democracy and human rights – the core commitments of the modern constitutional tradition that has its roots in the American and French Revolutions - has become the defining feature of a global legitimatory script that is applied not only in the context of newly established state constitutions, but also for assessment, interpretation and progressive development of law beyond the state.

The Center for Global Constitutionalism as a platform for problem-focused basic research is focused on addressing three kinds of resulting questions:

1. How are existing institutions, procedures and standards to be interpreted, progressively developed or reformed, in order to ensure that the rule of democratically legitimate and human rights respecting law, can successfully be developed beyond the state, even in the face of deep political disagreement across states?

2. If there are common standards, according to which all states must comply with norms relating to the rule of law, democracy and human rights, exactly how are these standards to be understood? Through what kind of mechanisms should the global spread and enforcement of these standards be supported?

3. The Center for Global Constitutionalism also examines different theoretical and historical questions, that concern the relationship between the rule of law, democracy and human rights itself. This includes questions concerning the history and theory of citizenship, European integration, the regulation of markets and the theory of human rights.