A Sociology of Constitutions: Constitutions and State - download pdf or read online

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By Chris Thornhill

ISBN-10: 052111621X

ISBN-13: 9780521116213

Utilizing a strategy 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 files of medieval Europe, in the course of the classical interval of innovative constitutionalism, to contemporary tactics 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.

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Note the argument – ‘Sed canones pro varietate gentium non variantur’ – to support the universality of canon law (Weigand 1967: 169). I found excellent commentary on this in Leisching (2001: 214, 233). 28 medieval constitutions organization. Throughout the reformist period, in fact, the entire operative structure of the church was placed on a firm legal basis. For instance, this period witnessed the formation of the monastic regime in the church, and it witnessed the institution of a formal concept of sacraments.

See the observation that the ‘Romanum princeps’ is ‘caput omnium magistratum’ (Irnerius? 1894: 21). In other earlier medieval glosses the prince was even described as the ‘caput aliorum iudicum’ (Fitting 1876: 148). 36 medieval constitutions imputing to the prince an ultimate monopoly of worldly power. These ideas became progressively prevalent through Europe, and, spreading outwards from Bologna, Roman law was broadly employed throughout high medieval European society as a device for asserting the growing territorial supremacy of temporal rulers, and for constructing the state as a consistent and uniform legal personality, able, in some matters, to subordinate the church.

Indeed, if the question of rights of jurisdiction 16 17 18 This is discussed in Haller (1966: 40); Pennington (1984: 38); Paradisi (1987: 302); and Erwin (2009: 55, 72). Yet on the dialectical implications of the work of Accursius see Tierney (1963). See pages 50–5 below. church law, the state and f eudal transformation 37 and ordinance was the primary object of legal dispute in the investiture contests, these controversies also revealed, and were shaped by, a less evident, deeper-lying structural problem in high medieval society, and the refined elaboration of legal power in both church and state caused by the controversies distilled a problem of still more profoundly constitutive importance for medieval politics.

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


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