A sociology of the transnational constitution - project focus

This project is focused on producing an institutional-sociological analysis of four distinct processes across different dimensions of contemporary constitutionalism:

1. Democratic polity

The classical constitutional design of the democratic polity has been generally revised: few democratic polities are now fully centred on autonomous legislative power.

2. Judicialisation

Modern democracy as a whole is marked by unprecedented levels of judicialisation, which subjects constitutional formation, legislation and policy making to judicial screening and review at a number of points within the political system.

3. Constitutional practice

Constitutional practice now typically possesses both a national and a transnational dimension, and acts of national legislation are typically determined (in part) by judicial actors deriving authority from a transnational legal arena. Courts act as hinges between the national and the supra-, inter- or transnational legal domain, and the judicialisation of national politics is caused by the integration of states in a transnational constitutional system.

4. Transnational norms

Modern democracy is marked by the fact that international agreements regarding rights provide transnational guidelines for legislation, and they reach deep into national political functions.

This project will explain the transnational constitution through a socio-functional reconstruction of constitutions in the more general sense, and aims to account for the rise of transnational legal norms (especially rights) by linking the consolidation of such norms to requirements for structural integrity in national state institutions.