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A Sociology of Constitutions: Constitutions and State by Chris Thornhill

By Chris Thornhill

Utilizing 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, throughout the classical interval of innovative constitutionalism, to fresh 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.Review"This booklet discusses in a hugely unique and complex demeanour elements of the makings and workings of constitutions, whose value (both highbrow and useful) has no longer been formerly famous. it's going to determine itself because the cornerstone of a brand new line of scholarship, complementary to extra traditional old and juridical ways to constitutional analysis."- Gianfranco Poggi, collage of Trento"This is a crucial publication should you search to appreciate the sociological methods fascinated with the advance of states and their constitutions. It has the nice benefit of delivering substantial element in aid of its thesis and hence abundant ammunition to problem the numerous replacement theories of the advance of the trendy state."- Richard Nobles, the fashionable legislations ReviewBook DescriptionCombining textual research of constitutions and historic reconstruction of formative social approaches, Chris Thornhill examines the legitimating function of constitutions from the 1st quasi-constitutional files in medieval Europe to contemporary constitutional transitions. [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]

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

Sample text

I simply use it to describe a particular mode of socio-political organization, accepted as a reality (albeit not in England) even by Richardson and Sayles (1963: 118), in which ‘sovereignty was divided between the king and his feudatories’. A primary characteristic of feudal society, following this residual definition, was that jurisdictional power was held in part in private hands, society as a whole witnessed a ‘collapse of public justice’ (Bisson 1994: 71) and power was not ‘experienced publicly and institutionally’ (Bisson 2009: 14).

In addition, during the Gregorian reforms and their aftermath the church even began to develop institutional features now considered characteristic of secular states: that is, it evolved new resources for raising fiscal revenue, it acquired devolved legal-administrative powers for codifying law and for issuing and promulgating new laws, and it reinforced its jurisdictional powers for enforcing positive law through specialized judicial procedures (Morris 1989: 388, 402, 575). Through these reforms, training in law became a qualification for ecclesiastical office, the papal curia was expected to process a dramatically increasing mass of litigation, and episcopal courts, with expansive administrative staffs, were appointed to conduct, delegate and uniformly control church legal affairs.

Here I follow both Parsons and Luhmann in associating an increase in the differentiated reserves of power with a growth in options contained in society and a correlated diminution of physical violence (Parsons 1963: 243, 237; Luhmann 1988: 78–9). 12 on Tue Oct 09 08:51:14 BST 2012. 001 Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2012 a note on method and central concepts 19 While pursuing a historical-sociological line of inquiry, further, it rejects the conflict-theoretical model that prevails in much sociological analysis, and it suggests that the construction of power is most deeply marked, not by irreducible political conflict, but by patterns of normatively inflected self-reproduction, multiplication and inclusion.

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