About

 

WHY CONSTITUTE?

New constitutions are written every year. The people who write these important documents need to read and analyze texts from other places. And citizens need to know, and to be able to understand, what’s in their countries’ foundational documents. Constitute offers access to the world’s constitutions so that users can systematically compare them across a broad set of topics—using an inviting, clean interface.

HOW TO EXPLORE CONSTITUTIONS ON CONSTITUTE?

Constitute allows you to interact with the world’s constitutions in a few different ways.

  • Quickly find relevant passages. The Comparative Constitutions Project (CCP) has tagged passages of each constitution with a topic—e.g., “right to privacy” or “equality regardless of gender”—so you can quickly find relevant excerpts on a particular subject, no matter how they are worded. You can browse the 300+ topics via the “Search | Topics | Filters” menu on the Constitutions page, or see suggested topics while typing in the search bar (which also lets you perform free-text queries).
  • Filter searches. Want to view results for a specific region or time period, or explore draft or historical texts? You can limit your search by specific parameters using the “Filters” options in the “Search | Topics | Filters” menu.
  • Read excerpts in List or Compare view. You can view searched excerpts within the default “List View,” or you can view two texts (or just their excerpts)  side-by-side in “Compare View,” still with the same search functionality.
  • Pin for further analysis. Pin excerpts, comparisons, or searches by clicking the “pin” button next to an expanded passage, the pin button at the top of the search results page, or the pin button on the right side of the comparison page. You can then view and download your pinned content by clicking on the “Pinned” link in the upper right section of the Constitutions page. Pinned items can be exported to Google Docs, rendered in PDF, or downloaded in .csv.

Furthermore, all of Constitute’s URLs are deep links, meaning you can link to a particular topic search, constitutional comparison, or even a specific constitutional provision directly, or share them on your social media accounts.

DIG DEEPER

The Countries, Topics, and Data Stories sections of the website allow users to learn more about each country’s constitutional history, explore CCP’s inventory of constitutional topics, or dig deeper into analyzing the data.

USE OF DATA

Except for material identified as copyrighted by other parties, the content of constituteproject.org is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 3.0 Unported License (which allows you to make free use of information from the site for noncommercial purposes). An appropriate citation for material on the site would be:

  • Elkins, Zachary, Tom Ginsburg, James Melton. Constitute: The World’s Constitutions to Read, Search, and Compare. Online at constituteproject.org. 

William S. Hein and Company and the Oxford University Press have provided certain materials from their online collections of constitutional texts. We encourage interested users to explore their products at HeinOnline and Oxford Constitutions of the World. Much of the translated constitutional text on Arabic Constitute has been provided by International IDEA, in partnership with the Constitute team. The data that power the site are architected and maintained according to principles of the semantic web and available for download here. For more information on these data and other ways to interact with it, visit the website of the Comparative Constitutions Project.

 

 

SEE SOMETHING THAT LOOKS WRONG?

Let us know if you find problems with a constitution or one of its excerpts. Each passage has an error icon which you can click to tell us when it is miscategoriezed or displayed incorrectly. You may also send general concerns by email to constitute.project@gmail.com. We are obsessed with beautiful and reliable constitution data, and welcome your feedback.

WHICH CONSTITUTIONS ARE PRESENTED IN CONSTITUTE?

Constitute includes the currently-in-force constitution for nearly every independent state in the world, as well as some draft and historical texts. We continue to update the in-force texts as they are amended or replaced, and we plan to expand the selection of draft and historical texts available on the site as well. Arabic Constitute and Spanish Constitute each include approximately 50 currently-in-force constitutions, representing every region in the world, as well as some draft and historical texts.

WHO IS BEHIND CONSTITUTE?

Constitute was developed by the Comparative Constitutions Project at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Chicago, directed by Zachary Elkins and Tom Ginsburg. It was seeded with a grant from Google Ideas (now Jigsaw), with additional financial support from the Indigo Trust and IC2. Arabic Constitute was developed in partnership with International IDEA, which provided significant intellectual and material support. Constitute en Español was developed in partnership with the University of Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, which provided translation services and intellectual guidance. Semantic data structures were created by the Miranker Lab at the University of Texas using Capsenta's Ultrawrap. Site architecture, engineering, and design are provided by Psycle Interactive.

The following organizations have made important investments in the Comparative Constitutions Project since 2005: the National Science Foundation (SES 0648288, IIS 1018554), the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research (formerly the Cline Center for Democracy), the United States Institute of Peace, the University of Texas, the University of Chicago, and the Constitution Unit at University College London.

Any inquiries should be addressed to constitute.project@gmail.com.