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International & Comparative Perspectives with Aziz Rana

Mar 19, 2024



Time of Event:

8pm ET/5pm PT

The third session of our 6-part open course/reading group “What To Do About The Courts,” cohosted with the People’s Parity Project, will take place on March 19th at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. This session will be led by Professor Aziz Rana.

TOPIC: The dramatic power of the U.S. judiciary in constitutional life makes it an outlier on the world stage. Many countries have far more adaptable constitutional systems, in which the courts are only one site of constitutional engagement—for instance, alongside active formal amendment processes. In this session, we will explore what the global experience suggests about the limitations of and alternatives to the American brand of court-dominated constitutional politics

FACULTY: Aziz Rana is the J. Donald Monan, S.J., University Professor of Law and Government at Boston College School of Law. His research and teaching center on American constitutional law and political development. In particular, Rana’s work focuses on how shifting notions of race, citizenship, and empire have shaped legal and political identity since the founding of the country. Rana’s forthcoming book, The Constitutional Bind: How Americans Came to Idolize a Document that Fails Them (University of Chicago Press, 2024), explores the modern emergence of constitutional veneration in the twentieth century — especially against the backdrop of growing American global authority — and how veneration has influenced the boundaries of popular politics.

READINGS: A copy of the readings and discussion questions for Session 3 will be sent to registered participants on March 11th or upon new registration. The reading for this session is excerpts from Mila Versteeg and Emily Zackin’s “American Constitutional Exceptionalism Revisited.” We are asking that participants to read only pages 1652-1666, 1668-1679, and 1700-1705.

The discussion questions for this session are available here:

REGISTRATION: To attend this session and all of the sessions in the “What To Do About the Courts” Series, please register: (If you registered for one of the previous two sessions, you do not need to register again).