Ran Hirschl

Constitutional Law and Political Science

To what extent do constitutional courts in different countries around the world exert political influence? What role do they play in old and young democracies, or in secular and theocratic states where they compete with religious law? Ran Hirschl is one of the world’s leading scholars of comparative constitutional law. Having completed numerous studies on constitutional development, the judicialization of politics, and the intellectual history and methodologies of comparative public law, Hirschl now wants to focus on settings in which religion and constitutional law interact to reflect and shape political struggles over collective identity. He also plans to explore new challenges concerning the constitutional governance of mega-cities in an increasingly globalized world. Hirschl will help to develop the Göttingen campus into a centre for research on the interaction between comparative law, constitutional design and comparative politics. To this end, he will cooperate extensively with the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen.

Nominating University: University of Göttingen

Professor Dr Ran Hirschl

Born in Israel in 1963, Ran Hirschl is a Full Professor and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Constitutionalism, Democracy and Development at the University of Toronto. He studied political science and law at Tel Aviv University and received his PhD in 1999 from Yale University, where he was a Fulbright Fellow. In addition to his prolific academic career in Canada, he has repeatedly spent time at various elite institutes in the United States, conducting research on comparative constitutionalism at Princeton, Stanford, Harvard and NYU. Hirschl is the recipient of several prestigious research, teaching and book awards in four different countries (Canada, Israel, the United States, and Australia). In 2014, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In September 2016 he took up his position as a Humboldt Professor at the University of Göttingen.