The Limits of Constitutional Convergence

Rosalind Dixon
Eric A. Posner


Globalization, some legal scholars suggest, is a force that makes increasing convergence among different countries' constitutions more or less inevitable. This Essay explores this hypothesis by analyzing both the logic-and potential limits-to four different mechanisms of constitutional convergence: first, changes in global "superstructure"; second, comparative learning, third, international coercion; and fourth, global competition. For each mechanism, it shows, quite special conditions will in fact be required before global convergence is likely even at the level of legal policy. At a constitutional level, it further suggests, it will be even rarer for these mechanisms to create wholesale convergence. This also has direct implications for ongoing debates over the desirability of constitutional decision-makers seeking to engage in global learning or borrowing.