A Sociology of Constitutions : Constitutions and State by Chris Thornhill PDF

By Chris Thornhill

ISBN-10: 052111621X

ISBN-13: 9780521116213

''Using 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 records of medieval Europe, throughout the classical interval of progressive constitutionalism, to fresh tactics of constitutional transition. A Sociology of

''During the emergence of sociology as a tutorial self-discipline the query in regards to the origins, prestige and capabilities of constitutions was once commonly posed. certainly, for either thematic and methodological purposes, the research of constitutions was once a crucial element of early sociology. Sociology built, even if ambiguously, as a severe 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, in truth, sociology can be obvious as a counter-movement to the political beliefs of the Enlightenment, which rejected the (alleged) normative deductivism of Enlightenment theorists. during this recognize, particularly, early sociology used to be deeply excited about theories of political legitimacy within the Enlightenment, and it translated the innovative research of legitimacy within the Enlightenment, enthusiastic about the normative declare that singular rights and rationally generalized rules of criminal validity have been the constitutional foundation for valid statehood, into an account of legitimacy which saw political orders as acquiring legitimacy via internalistically complicated, traditionally contingent and multi-levelled methods of felony formation and societal motivation and solidarity. this isn't to indicate 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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Additionally, it claims that modern societies have in fact characteristically evolved through a process in which the selective distillation of political power around a relatively discrete 19 In this respect, the book borrows aspects of Luhmann’s theory of power. Particularly useful in Luhmann’s theory is the fact that he viewed power, in strict terms, as the medium of communication for the political system and for the political system alone. He saw the political system as communicating power precisely by the fact that it holds itself at a level of inner consistency against the patterns of exchange in other parts of society (Luhmann 1969; 1988: 1991).

Indeed, just as the church had borrowed elements of Roman law and other ideas of legal personality from the secular arena, worldly political actors also began to replicate the church’s legal and procedural innovations, and secular institutions increasingly employed techniques of legal-political abstraction that they appropriated from the church. The growing legal order of the church thus provided a general model of legal organization for early Western societies, and, by the later twelfth century, this had become formative for the initial construction of secular political power in its characteristically modern institutional form.

It is often claimed that the investiture contests marked the beginning of an era of papal monarchy, in which the papacy rebutted the claims to universal Empire made by the Holy Roman emperors, and that through the resolution of these contests the papacy assumed extensive powers in relation to and even over worldly rulers, so that the church asserted its authority as the dominant political agent in European society (Calasso 1954: 171). In most instances, however, the investiture contests actually ended in a bilateral clarification of the legal relation between church and state, in which ecclesiastical power in spiritual matters was established as an exclusive principle and in which the exclusive authority of temporal 12 This was vital in some of the earliest Italian comuni, where the urban constitutions were often legitimized by the exchange of oaths to keep the peace: the treuga dei was at the foundation of the comuni (Keller 1982: 67).

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


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