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part iii • contemporary legal history • henrik wenander To conclude, these features of Swedish constitutional law – and there are many others – can be understood only if one includes a legal historical perspective, taking into account that constitutions are shaped by their political and historical contexts. A very narrow, perhaps modernist focus on black-letter law makes it difficult to make sense of constitutional law, whether teaching or in legal research. In short, legal history gives constitutional law its necessary background. In the Swedish context, the 1974 Instrument of Government must be seen as a modernization project, just like urban renewal in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Although it was believed that the written text could provide all the answers, it is now obvious that we need a historical context just as much as before—not least the historical context of the 1960s and 1970s. The role of the king or queen regnant in the Swedish constitution thus serves as an example of the role of legal history in contemporary Swedish constitutional law. 176 LEGAL HI STORY Reflecting the past and the present, current perspectives for the future