Sociological Approaches to Constitutional Law
iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 212, 2020
30 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2020
Date Written: September 3, 2020
This chapter explores how different sociological perspectives can inform scholarship of constitutions and constitutionalism. The chapter provides an overview of possible theoretical and methodological starting points for studying constitutions using sociological approaches. It begins a brief discussion of sociology as framework for understanding constitutionalism and constitutions. It then proceeds to outline some of the main theoretical tenets of sociology, beginning with functionalist and systems theoretical accounts, then turning to Marxism and critical approaches, and finally Weberian and Bourdieusian approaches. While theoretically very different, all these accounts are profoundly sociological in the sense that they seek to explain the object in societal terms – and, thus, not (only) in political or legal terms.
Keywords: Sociology of Constitutions, Constitutionalism, Classic Sociology, Sociology of Law, Human Rights
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