CONFERENCE - Constitutional Cultures in Comparative Perspective, Yearly Conference of the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities "Law as Culture"

The focus of our upcoming yearly conference “Constitutional Cultures in Comparative Perspective” is at the heart of our current research at the Center, namely the suspenseful relationship between legal and political spheres. For the theoretically-fundamentally applied as well as methodologically-comparatively oriented analysis of constitutional cultures, we were not only able to attract a large number of internationally renowned legal scholars, but also judges from national constitutional courts as well as from the European Court of Justice: We are awaiting exciting insight into the working methods, symbols, and rituals of the places where law is spoken in the name of constitutions.

With “constitutional cultures”, and committed to the research program of the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study “Law as Culture”, we would like to promote a concept that seeks the force of constitutions not only in their textual provisions and authorized interpretations. The full binding force of constitutions is namely revealed – analogous to experiences with a broadened legal concept – only in a cultural-scientific analysis that turns to narratives, symbols, rituals, places, and materialities in which constitutions are presented, reproduced, and create a sense of identity – from courthouse architecture to the characteristic style of the sentencing. The fact that in doing so no steady and distinct constitutional identities can be determined is in the nature of the issue; therefore, the worldwide social struggles between law, politics, and religion for the validity and formation of constitutions, which are also becoming ever more visible in Europe, are to be emphasized in particular. At the same time, an increasingly unfolding constitutionalism beyond the state, which strongly influences the dynamics of national constitutional orders, raises new analytical and normative questions.     

We look forward to receiving your registration either by email (kspranz (at) or telephone (0228 / 73 540 50).