A Constitutional Sociology of Europe: Law, Politics, and Society

Charles University

Since Summer semester 2017

The sociology of constitutions has in recent years emerged as a dynamic and innovative sub-discipline of sociology and the sociology of law, and explores the foundational aspects of a sociology of law and significantly contributes to debates about the role of constitutions in modern societies as well as on the transnational level. The course will discuss various sociological approaches to the study of European constitutionalism, analyze socially relevant dimensions of constitutions (legitimacy, democracy, identity, integration, values), and apply this knowledge in the study of constitutional traditions in Europe. The final part of the course will closely look at emerging constitutional dimensions of the European Union.

Objectives
• To introduce the students to the sociology of constitutions;
• To provide insights in the societal context in which constitutions operate;
• To obtain knowledge regarding different traditions of constitutionalism in Europe;
• To explore constitutional dimensions of the European integration project;
• To provide insights into the social operation of the law;
• To explore the changing nature of constitutionalism from the perspective of social functions of constitutions, including axiological, integrative, and participatory functions;
• To provide insight into the social embeddedness of rights and constitutional norms

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