Order from Transfer
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Order from Transfer

Comparative Constitutional Design and Legal Culture

Edited by Günter Frankenberg

Constitutional orders and legal regimes are established and changed through the importing and exporting of ideas and ideologies, norms, institutions and arguments. The contributions in this book discuss this assumption and address theoretical questions, methodological problems and political projects connected with the transfer of constitutions and law.
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Chapter 4: Gender structures and constitutional law

Helena Alviar García


In the last four decades, countries around the world have drafted new constitutions and created new government institutions and laws. As a matter of fact, more than half of all written constitutions in the world were made after 1974. From a traditional perspective, there is a convergence in global constitution-making processes. According to this view, most contemporary constitutions include a similar vocabulary and basic values such as fundamental freedoms, human rights, and separation of powers. In addition, and due to international trends and treaties which are a product of globalization, most constitutions have included gender equality provisions. Günter Frankenberg in the introduction to this book describes this mainstream interpretation of constitution-making in the following terms: What reads like one of the many narratives of globalization focuses on the fact that the modern constitutional idiom, though always geared toward and entangled in a specific local or regional and historical context, has proliferated worldwide, with liberal constitutionalism holding a hegemonic position. This (not all that innocent) narrative may be referred to as the globalization of the modern idiom creating a “global constitution.” … However, in its flat, one-dimensional version, this narrative has very little to say about how such globalization happens, what happens when globalization happens, and whether it is challenged by globalization – alternatives to the liberal-western paradigm. An example of this style of analysis is Kristin Van der Leest in her study: “Engendering Constitutions: Gender Equality Provisions in Selected Constitutions.”

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