By Chris Thornhill

ISBN-10: 052111621X

ISBN-13: 9780521116213

Utilizing a technique 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, in the course of the classical interval of innovative constitutionalism, to fresh approaches of constitutional transition. A Sociology of Constitutions explores the explanations why glossy societies require constitutions and constitutional norms and provides a particular socio-normative research of the constitutional preconditions of political legitimacy.Review"This booklet discusses in a hugely unique and complex demeanour features of the makings and workings of constitutions, whose importance (both highbrow and functional) has now not been formerly well-known. it is going to determine itself because the cornerstone of a brand new line of scholarship, complementary to extra traditional historic and juridical ways to constitutional analysis."- Gianfranco Poggi, college of Trento"This is a crucial e-book in case you search to appreciate the sociological procedures eager about the improvement of states and their constitutions. It has the good advantage of supplying enormous element in help of its thesis and hence plentiful ammunition to problem the numerous replacement theories of the advance of the fashionable state."- Richard Nobles, the fashionable legislation ReviewBook DescriptionCombining textual research of constitutions and old reconstruction of formative social approaches, Chris Thornhill examines the legitimating position of constitutions from the 1st quasi-constitutional records in medieval Europe to contemporary constitutional transitions. [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]

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12 on Tue Oct 09 08:51:20 BST 2012. 002 Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2012 the social origins of modern constitutions 23 political status: the private authority and independence of the nobility were slowly reduced, and in more advanced states the nobility was commonly brought into a more controlled and subordinate relation to central dynastic authority. e. 5 If the transition from early to high feudalism was marked by an incipient centralization of the political system in European societies, it was also coloured by a further, more encompassing, transformation of society as a whole.

1140]: 22). 12 on Tue Oct 09 08:51:20 BST 2012. 002 Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2012 30 medieval constitutions canonists and political theorists of the later Middle Ages in fact ultimately claimed that the representative and doctrinal powers of the church reposed, not in the person of the pope alone, but in the church as a community of the faithful (congregatio fidelium), which had its supreme constitutional organ in the church council (Tierney 1955: 4, 13). John of Paris, for example, concluded that the power of the church had a constitutional source that was not to be conflated with the pope and the inner administrative hierarchy around the pope (1614 [c.

See also Bloch (1949: 135). For this reason, feudalism is construed here as a societal regime in which power was applied, often by violent means, through lateral private bonds, and thus did not clearly exist as political power. There is a substantial body of literature on immunities. Immunity is defined here as an institution that at once placed royal power as a private good in the hands of bearers of an immunity, and allowed them to ‘isolate themselves from the state’ (Boutruche 1968: 132–3). It involved ‘exemption from certain fiscal burdens’ and delegation to the lord of ‘certain judicial powers’ (Bloch 1949: 122).

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


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