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A Sociology of the Transnational Constitution (STC)
Start date: Jan 1, 2014, End date: Jun 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project examines the societal pressures that shape the changing pattern of contemporary constitutionalism. In particular, it examines the rise of a transnational judicial constitution: that is, of a legal order, overarching national boundaries, in which, at different levels, judicial actors assume unprecedented authority to shape and conduct legislation. It is designed to produce the first macro-sociological explanation of the changing constitutional form of contemporary democracy, and it develops a unique sociological methodology for examining the rise of transnational norms and transnational judicial power.The project advances the distinctive thesis, first, that transnational judicial constitutionalism needs to be examined as a functional extension of classical constitutionalism. Further, it advances the thesis that the rise of the transnational judicial constitution is shaped – to a high degree – by forces within particular national societies, and it brings solutions for political-systemic problems embedded in these societies. Notably, the construction of a transnational legal domain performs vital state-building functions for particular societies, it acts to raise the autonomy of state institutions, and in many cases it forms the structural precondition of effective statehood. By examining the inner-societal origins of the convergence between national and transnational legal domains, the project elaborates a model of contemporary constitutionalism that calls into question widespread globalist preconceptions regarding the origins of transnational norms, and it proposes a sociological counter-thesis to common analyses of legal globalization.The project accomplishes its objectives by examining the impact of transnational legal norms on the structure of political institutions in eleven specifically selected polities: Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, Poland, Russia, Tunisia, USA, UK, and Venezuela.

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