Wherever the practice of government negates the spirit of law, wherever an environment for sustaining constitutionalism is lacking, this project has demonstrated the value of serious scholarly consideration of constitutionalism in an international, interdisciplinary, and comparative perspective.
ACLS Initiatives on Constitutionalism
Comparative Constitutionalism Project
From 1987 to 1989, ACLS organized a project on comparative constitutionalism with major support from the Ford Foundation. The project convened six international institutes: Punta del Este, Uruguay; Chiangmai, Thailand; Harare, Zimbabwe, Africa; Berlin, Germany; Pecs, Hungary; and Princeton, New Jersey. These institutions discussed constitutionalism across academic and professional disciplines, cultures, regimes, and time. Essays from each institute were published in Constitutionalism and Democracy: Transitions in the Contemporary World (Oxford UP, 1993). A final report was published as ACLS Occasional Paper No. 13.
Eastern European Constitutionalism Teacher-Training Project
The Eastern European Constitutionalism Teacher-Training Project built on and extended the Projects in Comparative Constitutionalism and East European Constitutionalism. Supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Eastern European Constitutionalism Teacher-Training Project investigated ways to help promote the spirit and culture of constitutionalism in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia from 1995 to 2000.
Training centers in Bratislava, Budapest, Lublin, Prague/Olomouc, and Warsaw designed and carried out programs for over 5,000 current and future teachers, preparing them to teach new subjects related to constitutional democracy, develop curricular materials, and conduct related activities for teachers, students, and the general public. ACLS also organized annual meetings for regional communication as well as occasional workshops on teaching methods, new forms of assessment, and school reform as part of the project. Read the final report, Assumptions and Lessons Learned.
ACLS has played essential roles in establishing pivotal committees, convenings, and learned societies that have influenced the shape of American and international higher education over the past century.