By Chris Thornhill
''Using a strategy that either analyzes specific constitutional texts and theories and reconstructs their historic evolution, Chris Thornhill examines the social position and legitimating prestige of constitutions from the 1st quasi-constitutional records of medieval Europe, in the course of the classical interval of innovative constitutionalism, to fresh tactics 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''--
''During the emergence of sociology as an educational self-discipline the query in regards to the origins, prestige and features of constitutions used to be greatly posed. certainly, for either thematic and methodological purposes, the research of constitutions used to be a critical element of early sociology. Sociology built, besides the fact that 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 all for the speculation and perform of constitutional rule. In its very origins, in reality, sociology may be obvious as a counter-movement to the political beliefs of the Enlightenment, which rejected the (alleged) normative deductivism of Enlightenment theorists. during this appreciate, 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, considering the normative declare that singular rights and rationally generalized ideas 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 advanced, traditionally contingent and multi-levelled tactics of felony formation and societal motivation and solidarity. 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
18 As mentioned, one methodological purpose of the book is to examine and explain the prevalent normative conﬁguration of modern societies, to comprehend the reasons why societies produce normative institutions, and so to illuminate constitutions as essential components of normative societal organization. To this end, the book seeks to outline a theory of norms to unsettle the conceptual dominance of analytical theory in normative inquiry: it attempts to apply a sociological method to show how modern societies tend, for functional motives, to promote the emergence of relatively generalized societal and legal-political norms, and how this can be identiﬁed (and even advocated) without reliance on hypostatically rationalist patterns of deduction and prescription.
It needs to be acknowledged here that I use the concept of feudalism despite controversy over its validity. The use of this term was widely assailed in the 1960s, most vehemently by Richardson and Sayles (1963: 117), who described feudalism as ‘a modern concept, an abstraction . . owing much to the desire of scholars for symmetry’. This term is now commonly viewed as a ‘discredited formulation’ (Bisson 2009: 31). In persisting in the use of this concept, I do not wish to make grand claims for feudalism as a term to deﬁne an 20 the social origins of modern constitutions 21 In earlier feudal societies, political power had normally been constructed through a pattern of societal organization in which kings, princes or other regents granted land and noble or seigneurial rights of private lordship to feoff holders, and, in return, feoff holders accepted certain, usually military, obligations towards feudal lords.
Roman law stored the legal order of the church in clear written procedures, and this facilitated the emergence of a legal apparatus that could articulate its power, not in local or socially embedded agreements or customs, but in temporally and locally indifferent juridical categories (Radding 1988: 299). Church law, the state and feudal transformation This legal organization of the church as a source of inclusively transmissible power had resonances across medieval societies that extended far beyond questions of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and it deeply shaped the secular political form of nascent European societies in their entirety.
A Sociology of Constitutions : Constitutions and State Legitimacy in Historical-Sociological Perspective by Chris Thornhill