State, Law, and Constitution: Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde's Political and Legal Thought in Context
Mirjam Künkler and Tine Stein (eds.): Constitutional and Political Theory. Selected Writings by Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde. Oxford University Press, January 2017, pp. 1-35.
46 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 9, 2016
This is the introduction to Mirjam Künkler and Tine Stein (eds.): Constitutional and Political Theory. Selected Writings by Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde. Oxford University Press, January 2017. Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde (b. 1930) is one of Europe's foremost legal scholars and political thinkers. As a scholar of constitutional law and a judge on Germany's Federal Constitutional Court (December 1983-May 1996), Böckenförde has been a major contributor to contemporary debates in legal and political theory, to the conceptual framework of the modern state and its presuppositions, and to contested political issues ranging from emergency measures to the ethics of genetic engineering, citizenship rights, and challenges of European integration. His writings have shaped not only academic but also wider public debates from the 1950s to the present, to an extent that few European scholars can match. As a federal constitutional judge, Böckenförde has influenced the way in which academics and citizens think about law and politics. During his tenure as a member of the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court, several path-breaking decisions for the Federal Republic of Germany were handed down, including decisions pertaining to the deployment of missiles, the law on political parties, the regulation of abortion, and the process of European integration.
The volume is organized in four sections, focusing respectively on (I) the political theory of the state; (II) constitutional theory; (III) constitutional norms and fundamental rights; and (IV) the relation between state, citizenship, and political autonomy. Each of these feature introductions to the articles as well as a running editorial commentary to the work. A second volume will follow, comprising Böckenförde's writings on the relation between religion, law, and democracy.
Keywords: Böckenförde, constitutional theory, state theory, Hobbes, Heller, Schmitt, Hegel, Lorenz von Stein, constitutional jurisdiction, fundamental rights, constitutionalism, Europeanization, constituent power, emergency powers
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