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Birkbeck, University of London: Constitutional Politics, Law and Theory

Institution Birkbeck, University of London
Department Law
Telephone 0203 907 0700
Study type Taught


On our LLM in Constitutional Politics, Law and Theory we consider whether the classic idea of a ‘constitution’, centring on the relation of state law to politics, is fit for purpose in a globalised world. We ask if lessons can be learnt to realistically and sustainably offset the rise of illiberal regimes? We question whether trust in legal and political constitutions has declined.

This course is unique in offering you an equal emphasis on law, politics, history and contemporary problems. The LLM Constitutional Politics, Law and Theory combines Birkbeck’s strong reputation for researching critical legal theory with teaching from experts across a wide range of areas. You will assess innovative theories and gain a practical knowledge of traditional constitutional problems. By using theoretical and comparative perspectives from across the world, you will develop the skills to explore traditionally opposing ideas of law and revolution and begin to imagine different ways of constituting the future.

We will explore topics including:

  • the origin and theories of classic constitutionalism

  • the causes and symptoms of crisis in liberal constitutional democracies

  • the return of conflicts over religion and the rise of populism

  • the potential of new, ‘reflexive’ constitutional models envisioned by popular movements seeking radical change and social justice. 

This course gives equal weight to theory and comparative case studies from around the world. It will appeal to anyone with a background in law or politics and beyond, who is interested in understanding constitutions from a number of different disciplines.


  • Studying the interrelation of law and politics requires, by definition, an interdisciplinary and critical approach - the Birkbeck School of Law specialises in this kind of approach.

  • Our school is an internationally recognised centre for critical and interdisciplinary legal research. It provides an exciting and innovative environment for a wide range of research with a strong theoretical and policy focus, and our academic staff have valuable experience of constitutionalist politics in regions across the globe. The school is the home of Birkbeck Law Press and publishes Law and Critique: The International Journal of Critical Legal Thought.

  • We use technology, such as electronic learning environments, to enhance teaching and learning. Birkbeck Library has an extensive collection of books, journals and electronic resources in law and related disciplines such as economics, politics and sociology. You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including those of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Senate House Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science (LSE Library) and the British Library.

  • Candidates with an outstanding academic record who demonstrate high potential for strong performance on one of our master's degrees can apply for School of Law Postgraduate Fee Awards.


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