The controversy around human dignity as a foundational concept for the law in general and constitutionalism in particular is no superficial affair. To find a way out of this maze, this article first discusses the problems of the method and theory of comparative legal perspectives and the core issue to which they lead: the antinomy of practical universalism and theoretical relativism of human rights. It then sketches some relevant aspects of the history of the idea of human dignity. The discussion then turns to the content of human dignity and its doctrinal unfolding as a legal concept. Finally, some tentative remarks are made on the deeper cultural and political issues at stake.
Keywords: human dignity; constitutionalism; comparative law; practical universalism; relativism; human rights
Article. 16918 words.
Subjects: Law ; Comparative Law ; Constitutional and Administrative Law
Full text: subscription required