The very title of this chapter, inviting us to address ‘conceptions of the state’ in comparative constitutional law, indicates the angle of approach: the aim is to examine the question of the state in the plural. And in assuming there to be more than one conception of the state, the editors clearly give us to understand that distinct constitutional traditions or cultures think of the state in different ways. Accordingly, the comparative outlook immediately introduces some form of ‘relativization’ or differentiation, inviting law scholars to desist for a moment...
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