Sociological Approaches to Constitutional Law

iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 212, 2020

30 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2020

See all articles by Mikael Madsen

Mikael Madsen

University of Copenhagen - iCourts - Centre of Excellence for International Courts; University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Law

Date Written: September 3, 2020

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Madsen, Mikael, Sociological Approaches to Constitutional Law (September 3, 2020). iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 212, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3685718 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3685718

Mikael Madsen (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - iCourts - Centre of Excellence for International Courts ( email )

University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Law ( email )

Studiestraede 6
Studiestrade 6
Copenhagen, DK-1455
Denmark

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