By Chris Thornhill
''Using a strategy that either analyzes specific constitutional texts and theories and reconstructs their old evolution, Chris Thornhill examines the social position and legitimating prestige of constitutions from the 1st quasi-constitutional files of medieval Europe, in the course of the classical interval of progressive constitutionalism, to contemporary techniques of constitutional transition. A Sociology of Constitutions explores the explanations why sleek societies require constitutions and constitutional norms and offers a particular socio-normative research of the constitutional preconditions of political legitimacy''--
''During the emergence of sociology as an educational self-discipline the query in regards to the origins, prestige and services of constitutions used to be commonly posed. certainly, for either thematic and methodological purposes, the research of constitutions used to be a important point of early sociology. Sociology built, although ambiguously, as a serious highbrow reaction to the theories and achievements of the Enlightenment within the eighteenth century, the political size of which used to be centrally enthusiastic about the speculation and perform of constitutional rule. In its very origins, actually, sociology will be noticeable as a counter-movement to the political beliefs of the Enlightenment, which rejected the (alleged) normative deductivism of Enlightenment theorists. during this admire, specifically, early sociology used to be deeply focused on theories of political legitimacy within the Enlightenment, and it translated the progressive research of legitimacy within the Enlightenment, all for the normative declare that singular rights and rationally generalized rules of felony validity have been the constitutional foundation for valid statehood, into an account of legitimacy which saw political orders as acquiring legitimacy via internalistically advanced, traditionally contingent and multi-levelled approaches of criminal formation and societal motivation and team spirit. this isn't to signify that there existed a strict and unbridgeable dichotomy among the Enlightenment, construed as a physique of normative philosophy, and proto-sociological inquiry, outlined as a physique of descriptive interpretation''-- Read more...
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Additional info for A Sociology of Constitutions : Constitutions and State Legitimacy in Historical-Sociological Perspective
In other earlier medieval glosses the prince was even described as the ‘caput aliorum iudicum’ (Fitting 1876: 148). 36 medieval constitutions imputing to the prince an ultimate monopoly of worldly power. These ideas became progressively prevalent through Europe, and, spreading outwards from Bologna, Roman law was broadly employed throughout high medieval European society as a device for asserting the growing territorial supremacy of temporal rulers, and for constructing the state as a consistent and uniform legal personality, able, in some matters, to subordinate the church.
For a more normatively inﬂected account of this, see Michael Mann’s theory of infrastructural power (1984: 189), which views the growth in the state’s power to ‘penetrate civil society’ as marked by a decline in its purely coercive status. For a more cultural perspective, see Corrigan and Sayer (1985). Yet, across methodological divides, the state-building process is still viewed as essentially one bringing about a conﬂictual convergence of society around a dominant bloc. I have assessed the literature in the classical canon of the historical sociology of states elsewhere (Thornhill: 2008), and I do not wish to repeat these points.
Finally, it needs to be noted that this book is conceived as the ﬁrst in a series of books on the sociology of constitutions, and it is anticipated that it will be followed by a volume on the transformation of constitutional order in the increasingly internationalized societies of the contemporary world and by a volume on post-colonial constitutionalism. This fact reveals much about the rationale shaping this ﬁrst volume. In the ﬁrst instance, this volume is designed to illuminate the societal processes that originally constructed and gave rise to states in their speciﬁc form as constitutional states.