Chapter 18 Sociology of constitutional law and politics
Restricted access

Constitutions and constitutionalism are increasingly important objects of inquiry for sociologists. Traditionally, and to some extent true even today, sociology has tended to show little interest in constitutions or constitutionalism, even if early sociological and philosophical works proposed some form of theory of constitutional legitimacy. By the 1980s, a certain revival of sociological interest in constitutions can be discerned. This is not least due to the fact that in the latter half of the 20th century, constitutions and constitutionalism became a core dimension of any modern society, that is, a distinctive understanding and implementation of constitutionalism forms now a standard way of social and political organization. Sociologists have been applying various and diverse approaches to study this emergence of and heightened significance of legal constitutionalism and judicialization. The chapter discusses a number of the most prominent approaches, ranging from Luhmannian perspectives, Bourdieusian analyses, critical-theoretical works, conflict-theoretical endeavours, to cultural approaches. The chapter first discusses the most significant sociological approaches regarding the analysis of constitutions, and subsequently briefly engages with their conception of politics.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with you Elgar account