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If the task of constitutional theory is to set out a language in which the discourse of constitutional law may be grounded, a question of the utmost importance is how this terminology is created, defined and interpreted. In this groundbreaking new work, András Jakab maps out and analyses the grammar and vocabulary on which the core European traditions of constitutional theory are based. He suggests understanding key constitutional concepts as responses to historical and present day challenges experienced by European societies. Drawing together a great and diverse range of literature, much of which has never before been touched upon by scholarship in the English language, Jakab reconceptualises and argues for a new understanding of European constitutional law discourse. In so doing he shines new light on what constitutes its distinctively European nature. This remarkable book is essential reading for all scholars and students of constitutional theory in Europe and beyond.Read more
- Proposes a new understanding of constitutional law discourse by reconceptualising the fundamental terms of constitutional theory in Europe
- Analyses the social, political and historical contexts in which these fundamental terms were coined
- Considers a range of domestic constitutional debates in a broad range of countries in Europe
- Examines the full range of theoretical debates and traditions on the subject from Europe, including those usually inaccessible to English-language readers
Reviews & endorsements
"European Constitutional Language is an erudite explication and critique of the concepts on which constitutional theory must be founded, illuminating those concepts as well as important contemporary controversies. It is an example of comparative constitutional legal analysis at its best, sensitive to historical specificity and local variations, while also offering appropriate generalizations about basic concepts."
Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law SchoolSee more reviews
"This volume presents an immense amount of knowledge in a concise, rigorously systematic and methodologically explicit manner. It is ambitious, precise and learned. This work is likely to become an important reference point for future debates in European constitutional theory."
Armin von Bogdandy, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law
'… a very ambitious book, a potential reference mark for future research in European and Comparative Constitutional Law. … This is a book of a real European scholar, a fully-fledged scholarly treasure trove and a generous contribution to the scholarly community.' Giuseppe Martinico, European Public Law
'I applaud this work's scholarship, range, and vision, and am grateful for its bringing many insights from German legal scholarship to the anglophone world …' Damian Chalmers, American Journal of Comparative Law
'This book has a number of merits: it is a systematic and easily readable presentation … of the the most important pending issues in present-day European constitutional discourse; moreover it convincingly shows possible and desirable developments. The author reveals an impressive command of the relevant literature on a number of topical constitutional debates. Furthermore, he is faithful to his work programme, which admits and, to a certain extent, advocates the political nature of the constitutional discourse. … In the ongoing debate about the European constitution, this book is a remarkable contribution, providing fundamental conceptual clarification and suggesting plausible paths for future evolution.' Giacomo Delledonne, European Law Review
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- Date Published: April 2016
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107130784
- length: 530 pages
- dimensions: 237 x 160 x 35 mm
- weight: 0.91kg
- contains: 7 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. The Grammar: The Rules of Constitutional Reasoning:
2. Constitutional reasoning in general
3. A scheme of the specific methods of interpretation
4. The conceptual system of constitutional law
5. Dialects or local grammars: the style of constitutional reasoning in different European countries
Part II. Suggested Vocabulary as a Patchwork Historical Collection of Responses to Different Challenges:
6. Sovereignty and European integration
7. The rule of law, fundamental rights and the terrorist challenge in Europe and elsewhere
8. The constitution of Europe
9. Democracy in Europe through parliamentarisation
10. Constitutional visions of the nation and multi-ethnic societies in Europe
Part III. Redundant Vocabulary:
11. Staatslehre as constitutional theory?
12. The Stufenbaulehre as a basis for a constitutional theory?
13. Principles as norms logically distinct from rules?
14. Public law – private law divide?
Part IV. Concluding Remarks.
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