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Jamal Greene and Yvonne Tew

This chapter develops a basic taxonomy of approaches to constitutional history based on types of history, patterns of use, and type of provision. Within these categories, the variations in the use of constitutional history include purposes/expectations, intention/meaning, texts/backdrops, pluralist/dispositive, and interpretation/rhetoric. The authors then apply this taxonomy to the practices of constitutional courts in the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. From this survey, the chapter concludes that history plays a variable role across constitutional systems, depending on the country’s unique historical, cultural, and political traditions.