Ran Hirschl, professor of political science and law at the University of Toronto is giving a seminar in Utrecht on the power of the mega-city.
Professor Hirschl will a talk for about 45-50 minutes on his forthcoming book on comparative constitutionalism and mega-cities, followed by a 30-45 minute discussion, and bites and drinks.
Politics, mega-cities and constitutional status
The book itself will only be out in early 2019, but the envisioned focus at this seminar will be on several elements of it, namely: the widening gap between urbanisation trends and constitutional silence on cities in general and mega-cities in particular; attempts to challenge that situation through constitutional litigation (e.g. sanctuary cities in the US and elsewhere); and innovative constitutional thought in the global south concerning mega-cities' constitutional status, with examples from China, Korea, Vietnam but also Russia, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil and elsewhere.
Granting mega-cities additional powers
Throughout the discussion, Ran Hirschl will emphasise the political perimeters of constitutional innovation and stagnation in that area, mainly the state's structural reluctance to grant mega-cities additional powers, as well as the mega-city problem as a proxy for thinking about broader demographic and spatial challenges to contemporary constitutional thought.