Constitutions in World Society: A New Measure of Human Rights
29 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2017
Date Written: January 27, 2017
Constitutions, once thought of as distinctly national documents, are now recognized as being written, adopted, and amended in conversation with national laws of other societies, international organizations, and transnational legal orders. This paper situates constitutions in the post-World War II growth of world society, examining trends in provisions for human rights. Human rights language and law, once absent from almost all constitutions, now appears in most of them. We argue that this striking change is driven by global-transnational processes as much as by national conditions. We introduce a measure of human rights in constitutions based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and data from the Comparative Constitutions Project. Results of analyses verify the robustness of the measure and support a global-transnational account of human rights inclusion in constitutions.
Keywords: constitutions, human rights, world society, transnational legal orders
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