A Sociology of Constitutions

Constitutions and State Legitimacy in Historical-Sociological Perspective

A Sociology of Constitutions

Using a methodology that both analyzes particular constitutional texts and theories and reconstructs their historical evolution, Chris Thornhill examines the social role and legitimating status of constitutions from the first quasi-constitutional documents of medieval Europe, through the classical period of revolutionary constitutionalism, to recent processes of constitutional transition. A Sociology of Constitutions explores the reasons why modern societies require constitutions and constitutional norms and presents a distinctive socio-normative analysis of the constitutional preconditions of political legitimacy.


 Reviews:

"This book discusses in a highly original and sophisticated manner aspects of the makings and workings of constitutions, whose significance (both intellectual and practical) has not been previously recognized. It will establish itself as the cornerstone of a new line of scholarship, complementary to more conventional historical and juridical approaches to constitutional analysis."
Gianfranco Poggi, University of Trento

"This is an important book for those who seek to understand the sociological processes involved in the development of states and their constitutions. It has the great merit of offering considerable detail in support of its thesis and thus ample ammunition to challenge the many alternative theories of the development of the modern state."
Richard Nobles, The Modern Law Review

"This is an outstanding book that suggests a completely new approach in constitutional theory and research … [T]he book introduces a new era of progressive research on constitutional evolution and the sociological history of constitutional law. [It] is a paradigm case for further studies."
Hauke Brunkhorst, Public Law

"Chris Thornhill's A Sociology of Constitutions … provides an uncompromisingly detailed and telling analysis of the structural and conjunctural forces that have shaped constitutional developments in a mainly European context since the Middle Ages. For anyone seriously interested in constitutional history, this book provides an excellent and erudite analysis."
Grahame Thompson, Economy and Society

'This is an outstanding book that suggests a completely new approach in constitutional theory and research … [T]he book introduces a new era of progressive research on constitutional evolution and the sociological history of constitutional law. [It] is a paradigm case for further studies.' Hauke Brunkhorst, Public Law

'Chris Thornhill's A Sociology of Constitutions … provides an uncompromisingly detailed and telling analysis of the structural and conjunctural forces that have shaped constitutional developments in a mainly European context since the Middle Ages. For anyone seriously interested in constitutional history, this book provides an excellent and erudite analysis.' Grahame Thompson, Economy and Society

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