2102 Constitutions and Regionalisms beyond the State

WG Sociology of Constitutions

Room: B2.04


The presence of communities provided by cultural identities and strong political ambitions in long established states is a problem which seems to be increasingly important even in well organised union of states provided by a sort of meta-sovereignty. Is this ambiguous “glocalism” a real threat to the established international order despite the limited dimension of these re-emerging entities? (Session organized by Alberto Febbrajo).In Mexico City, we discussed the current state of the sociology of law as an empirical field of study. In Lisbon, we would like to expand the scope of our discussion and focus on wider cross-disciplinary field of socio-legal studies including the sociology of law.  The panelists will explore the configuration of social science disciplines studying law in different countries that together shape the profile of the subject-matter that can be placed under the umbrella of socio-legal studies, together with the balance between theoretical and empirical approaches and the philosophical  grounding that supports the field intellectually.  For instance, in some countries the sociology of law is used interchangeably with socio-legal studies whereas in others it is an insignificant stream of it; some countries display a strong empirical orientation, while in other places the move is towards theoretical discussions of the nature of law, blending with jurisprudence. In this roundtable, we hope to examine developments in different countries and explore the drivers that influence the direction they take (Sessions organized by Masayuki Murayama).


Chair: Alberto Febbrajo | University of Macerata; CSISC

Alberto Febbrajo | University of Macerata; CSISC

The EU and its regional dimension




The paper underlines, from a socio-legal point of view, the relevance of   a number of questions which are affecting one of the main pillars of the EU constitution: the recognition of the role of regions within the member states. Is the economic disunity of  member states able to blur the perceptions of their internal  political disunity especially in the so-called euro area?  Is the oligarchic organization of the EU able to support the single governments in the defence of their own internal unity on condition that they accept the leadership of other member states? Is the lack of accountability of the highest organs of the EU, selected without a basic democratic process, able to avoid an adequate connection between the expectations of the single voters and their representatives in the European parliament?
As long as the EU will not be able to find an acceptable alternative to its present self-referential economic, organizational, democratic deficit, regional ambitions of recognition could be actually considered in a positive way at the abstract level of EU values and thus from the very general perspective of human rights.

Marco A. Quiroz Vitale | University of Milan

Constitutions and culture of human rights




The great masters of sociology attribute to the Constitution different functions: from Ehrlich to Geiger, from Weber up to the functionalists in which the constitution is a tool able to structurally connect juridical system to the political one, thus allowing the two systems to maintain a strictly and indispensable relationship. As Alberto Febbrajo wrote, in this perspective “the Constitution appears as the most legal part of the political system and at the same time as the most political part of the legal system”, assuming the inter-systemic function of defining both legal and political borders of law. In the present contribution the Author intends to describe the constitution as the place fit to develop human rights, playing a critical function of positive law that makes the neo-constitutionalism a kind of continuation of the historical doctrine of natural law.

Enrico Damiani di Vergada Franzetti | University of Milan

Constitutions and judicial culture of human rights





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