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A Sociology of Constitutions: Constitutions and State - download pdf or read online

By Chris Thornhill

ISBN-10: 052111621X

ISBN-13: 9780521116213

Utilizing a strategy that either analyzes specific constitutional texts and theories and reconstructs their old evolution, Chris Thornhill examines the social function and legitimating prestige of constitutions from the 1st quasi-constitutional files of medieval Europe, during the classical interval of progressive constitutionalism, to fresh procedures of constitutional transition. A Sociology of Constitutions explores the explanations why sleek societies require constitutions and constitutional norms and provides a particular socio-normative research of the constitutional preconditions of political legitimacy.

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Extra resources for A Sociology of Constitutions: Constitutions and State Legitimacy in Historical-Sociological Perspective

Sample text

He added later that the legitimation of power is always a communicative act of ‘self-legitimation’ that occurs within the political system, and it ‘excludes legitimation through an external system’ (2000: 358–9). a note on method and central concepts 15 general, therefore, the book uses a historical-functionalist method in order at once both to question the common normative indifference both of historical-political and functionalist sociology and to promote a theory of historically constructed norms that identifies the elaboration of a solid legal normative apparatus as a highly probable structural feature of modern societies.

See pages 50–5 below. church law, the state and f eudal transformation 37 and ordinance was the primary object of legal dispute in the investiture contests, these controversies also revealed, and were shaped by, a less evident, deeper-lying structural problem in high medieval society, and the refined elaboration of legal power in both church and state caused by the controversies distilled a problem of still more profoundly constitutive importance for medieval politics. This, namely, was a question that touched on the central nerve of feudalism itself.

The activities of this school centred, although not exclusively, on the study of civil law, and Bolognese law promoted the circulation and refinement of positive ideas of secular legitimacy. In particular, the elements of lex regia in Roman law began to form the basis for a strict doctrine of abstracted princely authority: at this time the first full systematic rendering of Roman law in Bologna, presumed to be the work of Irnerius, accorded to the prince a position above all other magistrates,15 thus 14 15 To exemplify, see Musson (2001: 47); and Reynolds (2003: 361–2).

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A Sociology of Constitutions: Constitutions and State Legitimacy in Historical-Sociological Perspective by Chris Thornhill


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