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From constitutional listening to constitutional learning

Jenco, Leigh K. (2012) From constitutional listening to constitutional learning. Chicago-Kent Law Review, 88 (1). pp. 171-186. ISSN 0009-3599

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In this article, I point out some limitations of Michael Dowdle’s “listening” model, particularly its basis in the “principle of charity.” I try to show that listening, as well as the principle of charity, are inadvertently passive and one-sided exercises that seem to have little similarity to the deeply self-transformative “learning” Dowdle urges us to undertake. I go on to suggest other ways of accomplishing the goals Dowdle sets for this project. Specifically, I develop the “self-reflexive approach” to think about how we might change ourselves—our conversations, our terms, our concerns—in addition to, and in the process of, learning from others. I argue that we must go beyond an expansion of the term constitutionalis m, to consider its replacement: the Chinese conversation is not a case study that exhibits features predictable by already-existing (and largely Western-centric) models of legal understanding, but stands as itself an important source of socio-political theory that can contribute to solving larger puzzles within political- and social-scientific analysis more generally, including democratic theory and Chinese politics.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Chicago-Kent Law Review
Divisions: Government
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
J Political Science > JC Political theory
K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2012 08:23
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2021 23:13

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