New Publication: A Sociology of Constitutions

New Publication: A Sociology of Constitutions

Issued: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 16:05:00 BST

Book Cover A Sociology of Constitutions Chris Thornhill, University of Glasgow
Series: Cambridge Studies in Law and Society
ISBN: 9780521116213
Publication date: July 2011

This is the first book in any language on the sociology of constitutions, and it builds on Chris's recent award-winning research on the social origins of public-legal norms. The book sets out a broad historical-functionalist reconstruction of the social foundations of constitutional law in different societies, and it offers an innovative political-sociological analysis of the reasons why societies tend to articulate the grammar of legitimacy in constitutional terms.

The book is planned as the first in a series of volumes on the sociology of constitutions, and it is to be followed by a book on The Formation of a Transnational Legal Structure.

Using a methodology that both analyses particular constitutional texts and theories and reconstructs their historical evolution, Chris Thornhill examines the social role and legitimating status of constitutions from the first quasi-constitutional documents of medieval Europe, through the classical period of revolutionary constitutionalism, to recent processes of constitutional transition. A Sociology of Constitutions explores the reasons why modern societies require constitutions and constitutional norms and presents a distinctive socio-normative analysis of the constitutional preconditions of political legitimacy.

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