The Research Group on Constitutional Studies, a division of the Yan P. Lin Centre for the Study of Freedom and Global Orders in the Ancient and Modern Worlds, brings together scholars from the Departments of Political Science and Philosophy and the Faculty of Law. Constitutionalism as a field of inquiry includes the classical idea of a fit between governing regimes and the societies they govern, and associated questions about what kinds of bodies of citizens can support what kinds of government. It also includes the modern idea of the basic rules and institutions that provide the fundamental framework of, and limits on, politics and government; constitutional law is a part (but only a part) of that idea. Broadly speaking we understand the study of constitutionalism to be where the normative analysis of politics characteristic of political thory and philosophy overlaps with the empirical work done in parts of political science (studies of constitutional rules and design, federalism, judicial politics, the separation of powers) as well as the jurisprudential work characteristically done by legal scholars (constitutional law, philosophy of law, theories of rights).
In addition to the team of faculty researchers, RGCS includes postdoctoral fellows, visiting scholars such as the annual Visiting Fulbright Chair in Constitutional and Political Theory, nine Ph.D. fellows who are provided with office space, and a group of undergraduate and MA Fellows who take part in a reading group. Regular RGCS activities include a works-in-progress workshop for the faculty and postdoctoral researchers and a public lecture series.
RGCS is located on the 4th floor of Ferrier Hall, 840 Dr. Penfield.
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