Constitutionalism in Asia

This course is the study of constitutionalism in Asia from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. It has three features:

First, the course examines a variety of constitutionalism in Asia: liberal (e.g., India, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan); hybrid (e.g., Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore); socialist (e.g., China and Vietnam); military (e.g., Myanmar and Thailand); and tradition/religion-based (Confucian and Buddhist).

Second, the course situates Asian constitutions in politics and society. This course explores questions such as: what the constitutions do; how authoritarian constitutions and authoritarian constitutionalism look like in Asia; how and why the constitutions are made and changed; how the constitutions respond to the divided and plural societies; how local citizens participate in constitutional change; how various sectors of the international community involve in constitutional reform in Asia; how political parties and social movements influence constitutional change; how the basic structure doctrine diffuses across the region; and how courts shape and are shaped by state-building and social change; and how constitutionalism in Asia is informed by transnational norms.

Third, the course both sets Asia in general conversations on constitutionalism (general comparison) and compares constitutional systems within Asia (intra-Asia comparison).