By Chris Thornhill
''Using a technique that either analyzes specific constitutional texts and theories and reconstructs their ancient 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 contemporary procedures of constitutional transition. A Sociology of Constitutions explores the explanations why smooth 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 concerning the origins, prestige and services of constitutions used to be largely posed. certainly, for either thematic and methodological purposes, the research of constitutions used to be a imperative element of early sociology. Sociology constructed, notwithstanding 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 concerned about the idea and perform of constitutional rule. In its very origins, in truth, sociology may be noticeable as a counter-movement to the political beliefs of the Enlightenment, which rejected the (alleged) normative deductivism of Enlightenment theorists. during this appreciate, specifically, early sociology was once deeply focused on theories of political legitimacy within the Enlightenment, and it translated the progressive research of legitimacy within the Enlightenment, serious about 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 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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Additional info for A Sociology of Constitutions : Constitutions and State Legitimacy in Historical-Sociological Perspective
At the caesura between early and high feudalism, therefore, the church assumed distinctive status as an institution that, in reforming its legal apparatus, was able autonomously to confer consistency and unity on its particular functions, and so reproducibly to apply its power across the intra-societal boundaries of pre-modern social order. To illustrate this analysis, during the high medieval period the Roman Catholic church began to extricate itself both from the tradition of territorial or private-dynastic control of the church (Eigenkirchentum) and from the integration of the church in the feoffs of the Holy Roman Empire, which had characterized the legal status of the church since the Carolingian period (Weise 1912: 19, 36; Tellenbach 1988: 57–8).
Nonetheless, the diverse accords marking the end of the investiture contests put in place the foundations for a division of jurisdictional powers between church and state, and in principle they accepted a legal distinction of competence between these powers. These legal controversies over investiture had the most far-reaching consequences for the secular-political structure of European societies. Indeed, one main result of these controversies was that political institutions began to design themselves around the same principles of positive legal order that had been consolidated in the church, and, in different 13 For this interpretation see Classen (1973); Minninger (1978: 208); and Paradisi (1987: 387).
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.