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Comparative Constitutional Law

This guide provides an overview of research strategies and resources on the topic of comparative constitutional law at UNC Law.

Introduction to Comparative Constitutional Law Research


This guide is designed to provide assistance to those conducting research in comparative constitutional law. It contains references to a collection of primary law, secondary sources, and other tools available in print and electronically in the UNC Law Library collection. Many of the online resources require affiliation with UNC or UNC Law for access. If you have any questions, please contact the UNC Law Library Reference Desk at 919-962-1194 or

Comparative constitutional law is the study of differences and similarities between the law and legal systems of different countries. Comparative constitutional law is a separate branch of comparative law concerned with the legal structures and concepts that are typically found in constitutions and analyzed from a comparative perspective. It can overlap with many disciplines, such as political science, history, human rights, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy. Researchers are encouraged to go beyond traditional legal sources when researching comparative constitutional law; therefore this guide provides assistance not only in accessing the text of constitutions and legal secondary sources but also other interdisciplinary materials.

  • Home
    • Introduction
    • Conducting Research at UNC with LCSHs
    • Other Guides
  • Getting Started
    • Introduction
    • Basic Definitions
    • Unique Challenges
    • Citations
  • Legal Databases and Websites
    • Introduction
    • Foreign Constitutions
    • Legal Databases
    • Journal Indexes
    • Selected Journals
    • Other Resources
  • Books, Treatises, and Encyclopedias
    • Introduction
    • General Introductory Works
    • Encyclopedias
    • Book and Monograph Series
    • Theses and Dissertations
  • Selected Topics
    • Introduction
    • Hate Speech
    • LGBTQ+ and Gender Rights
    • Individual Rights
    • Regional Comparisons

Conducting Research at UNC with LCSHs

Much of the scholarly work on comparative constitutional law appears in books, chapters, and academic journals, both legal and otherwise. Though it is a well established area of scholarship, new works in or related to the subject appear often. This libguide provides a selection of core and related materials on comparative constitutional law, but researchers will also want to check multiple databases, journals, and publications for new developments.This subject is also interdisciplinary in nature, so a good researcher may want to venture beyond legal databases for articles and books.

One key method for finding works on specific subjects are Library of Congress Subject Headings. LCSHs are assigned to books held in U.S. libraries and beyond and are helpful for identifying subject-specific monographs and other materials. There is no single LCSH for the field of comparative constitutional law; items on this subject are generally tagged with two LCSHs—"Constitutional Law” and “Comparative Law.” Subtopics of comparative constitutional law, such as constitutional amendments, civil rights, and habeas corpus are assigned single headings and those may be combined with a jurisdiction: e.g., “Constitutional Amendments—Brazil.” The Library of Congress provides an online searchable database of LCSHs that is relatively easy to use.

Other Guides

Other library guides can be helpful when researching comparative constitutional law. The UNC Law Library's research guides page has links to all of our research guides. Several deal specifically with aspects of foreign and international law:

Other universities, law schools, and organizations also provide comparative constitutional law guides. Some selected guides:

Many law schools have created country-specific legal research guides that review how to conduct legal research in a specific foreign jurisdiction, identify the major sources of primary law, and provide links to any English-language primary material online. Some selected collections: