Sociology of Constitutions: A Paradoxical Perspective

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 11:33
Location: Hörsaal 17 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Giancarlo CORSI, University of Modena-Reggio Emilia, Italy
The fundamental concept of the constitution is changing rapidly. On  the basis of the general formula one state, one constitution, the  constitution, used to be seen as the sole and indisputable mother  of the legal order, was consequently used in many convergent ways:  by judges as the main tool for granting identity to their legal  decisions, by political actors as the main criterion for defining  the limits of their own legal interventions, and by the public as  the main institutionalised norm for defending the abstract  recognition of new rights or the elimination of previous constraints.
Many parts of these legal and sociological narratives have now come  to be regarded as outdated. Transnational organisations, economic  interests that transcend state borders and emerging calls for  greater autonomy from local communities all require regulations of  such a scope that single states are coming to accept significant  limitations to their own autonomy. Here some questions arise: is it  possible to imagine a reliable constitution without a clear  reference to a sovereign state? Can a plurality of states agree  reciprocally to downscale their own political roles, even in the  absence of a corresponding meta-state and of a fully  institutionalised new order?