This collection brings together some of the most influential sociologists of law to confront the challenges of current transnational constitutionalism. It shows the constitution appearing in a new light: no longer as an essential factor of unity and stabilisation but as a potential defence of pluralism and innovation.
The first part of the book is devoted to the analysis of the concept of constitution, highlighting the elements that can contribute from a socio-legal perspective, to clarifying the principle meanings attributed to the constitution. The study goes on to analyse some concrete aspects of the functioning of constitutions in contemporary society. In applying Luhmann's General Systems Theory to a comparative analysis of the concept of constitution, the work contributes to a better understanding of this traditional concept in both its institutionalised and functional aspects.
Defining the constitution's contents and functions both at the conceptual level and by taking empirical issues of particular comparative interest into account, this study will be of importance to scholars and students of sociology of law, sociology of politics and comparative public law.
Introduction, Alberto Febbrajo and Giancarlo Corsi. Part I: On paradoxes in constitutions, Giancarlo Corsi; Exogenous self-binding: how social subsystems externalise their foundational paradoxes in the process of constitutionalisation, Gunther Teubner; Promise as premise. Rewriting the paradox of constitutional reasoning, Ino Augsberg; On the binding nature of constitutions, Hans-Georg Moeller; Constitutionalism and legal pluralism, Alberto Febbrajo. Part II: The sociological origins of global law, Chris Thornhill; Constitutionalism and globalisation: a disputed relationship, Cesare Pinelli; `Cross-constitutionalism' and sustainable comparison, Michele Carducci; Towards the constitution of networks?, Karl-Heinz Ladeur; Standards of `good governance' and peripheral constitutionalism: the case of post-accession Romania, Bogdan Iancu; The organization of market expectations beyond legality: an Argentinian case, Matias Dewey; De-constitutionalizing Latin America. Particularism and universalism in a constitutional perspective, Aldo Mascareno; Paradoxes of transconstitutionalism in Latin America, Marcelo Neves. Appendix: The constitution in the work of Niklas Luhmann, Giancarlo Corsi; The issue of the constitution in Luhmann's card index system. Reading the traces, Johannes F.K. Schmidt; Index.
Alberto Febbrajo is Professor of Sociology of Law at the Department of Law, University of Macerata, Italy. Giancarlo Corsi is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Department of Communication and Economics, University of Modena-Reggio Emilia, Italy.