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date: 04 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers how comparative foreign relations law might draw on the comparative study of national constitutions, an increasingly large and vital field, and sets out an agenda for future work in the area. It provides some basic data from a comparative examination of formal constitutional provisions relevant to foreign relations. In doing so, it argues that a “foreign relations lens” helps elucidate an underappreciated core purpose of these foundational texts. That is, one of the central functions of national constitutions is to structure international relations. The chapter next turns to normative considerations, showing how the shifting boundaries of constitutional design with regard to foreign relations serve to allocate lawmaking authority. There is a potential for complementarity between international and domestic regulation of some problems, but also the potential that international and domestic norms serve as substitutes for each other. An optimal constitutional design of foreign relations law would take these considerations into account.

Keywords: foreign relations law, comparative constitutional law, national constitutions, constitutional design, international law

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