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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law [MPECCoL]

Constitutions and Empirical Legal Studies

Tilmann Altwicker

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 21 July 2024

Comparative constitutional law

General Editors: Rainer Grote, Frauke Lachenmann, Rüdiger Wolfrum
Managing Editor: Martina Mantovani

1 A growing body of literature analyzes constitutions from the perspective of empirical legal studies (‘ELS’). ELS refers to the systematic study of law, legal processes, and legal phenomena using social science research methods (Burton 55; Suchman and Mertz). The goal of ELS is to study the emergence and de facto functioning of the law. The concept of ‘empirical’ in ELS is commonly (but not uncontroversially) understood as referring to quantitative studies (Cane and Kritzer 3). Therefore, this contribution is limited to quantitative (‘large-N’) approaches to...
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