The Project of Constitutional Sociology: Irritating Nation State Constitutionalism

Available in Russian

Available for free

Author: Günther Teubner

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2016-1-41-55


Trends of constitutionalisation can be identified beyond the nation state. They follow two different directions. Outside the limits of the nation state, constitutions emerge in the institutions of international politics, and they emerge simultaneously outside the limits of politics in the ‘private’ sectors of global society. Transnationalisation confronts constitutional sociology with three different challenges: first, to analyse empirically ongoing constitutionalisation processes beyond the nation state, second, to develop a theory of transnational societal constitutionalism, and third, to formulate sociological preconditions for normative perspectives in politics and law. Constitutional law is now confronted with the task of developing constitutional rules that are in a position to respond to legal dilemmas that transnational regimes are facing. In transnational regimes the motivation for self-limitation is mostly missing. Obviously, it is only the changes in the internal constitution of transnational regimes that are able meet the demands of civil society, courts and state politics. Thus, there are no alternatives to an experimental and penetrating constitutionalisation.

About the author: Günther Teubner – Professor Emeritus, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Citation: Teubner G. (2016) Kontury konstitutsionnoy sotsiologii: preodolenie isklyuchitel'nosti gosudarstvennogo konstitutsionalizma [The Project of Constitutional Sociology: Irritating Nation State Constitutionalism]. Sravnitel'noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, no.1, pp.41–55. (In Russian).


Allott Ph. (2001) The Emerging Universal Legal System. International Law Forum du droit international, vol.3, pp.12–17.

Anderson G.W. (2012) Corporate Constitutionalism: From Above and Below (but Mostly Below). In: The Constitutionalization of the Global Corporate Sphere? Paper presented at Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, 17–18 September, pp.1–14.

Backer L.C. (2005) Multinational Corporations, Transnational Law: The United Nation’s Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations as Harbinger of Corporate Responsibility in International Law. Columbia Human Rights Law Review, vol.37, no.2, pp.101–192.

Backer L.C. (2005) The Autonomous Global Enterprise: On the Role of Organizational Law beyond Asset Partitioning and Legal Personality. Tulsa Law Review, vol.41, no.3, pp.541–571.

Behrens P. (2000) Weltwirtschaftsverfassung. Jahrbuch für Neue Politische Ökonomie, Bd.19: Globalisierung und Weltwirtschaft, S.5.

Binswanger H.Ch. (2009) Vorwärts zur Mässigung: Perspektiven einer nachhaltigen Wirtschaft, Hamburg: Murmann.

Cass D.Z. (2005) The Constitutionalization of the World Trade Organization: Legitimacy, Democracy and Community in the International Trading System, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cassese S. (2005) Administrative Law Without the State: The Challenge of Global Regulation. New York University Journal of Inter-national Law and Politics, vol.37, no.4, pp.663–694.

Crouch C. (2011) The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Dalhuisen J.H. Legal Orders and their Manifestations: The Operation of the International Commercial and Financial Legal Order and its Lex Mercatoria. Berkeley Journal of International Law, 2006, vol.24, no.1, pp.129–191.

De Schutter O. (ed.) (2006) Transnational Corporations and Human Rights, Oxford: Hart Publishing.

Derrida J. (1991) L’Autre cap, Paris: Minuit.

Dunoff J.L., Trachtman J.P. (eds.) (2009) Ruling the World?: Constitutionalism, International Law and Global Government, Cam-bridge: Cambridge University Press.

Durkheim E. (1960) The Division of Labor in Society, Glencoe, IL: Free Press.

Fischer-Lescano A. (2005) Globalverfassung: Die Geltungsbegründung der Menschenrechte, Weilerswist: Velbrück.

Frowein J.A. (2000) Konstitutionalisierung des Völkerrechts. In: Dicke K. et al. (Hrsg.) Völkerrecht und internationales Privatrecht in einem sich globalisierenden internationalen System: Auswirkungen der Entstaatlichung transnationaler Rechtsbeziehungen, Hei-delberg: C.F.Müller, (Berichte der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Völkerrecht. Bd.39), S.427–447.

Gardbaum S. (2009) Human Rights and International Constitutionalism. In: Dunoff J.L., Trachtman J.P. (eds.). Ruling the World?: Constitutionalism, International Law and Global Government, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.233–257.

Gill S. (2003) Power and Resistance in the New World Order, London: Macmillan.

Grimm D. (2010) The Achievement of Constitutionalism and its Prospects in a Changed World. In: Dobner P., Loughlin M. (eds.). The Twilight of Constitutionalism? Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.3–22.

Habermas J. (1986) The New Obscurity: The Crisis of the Welfare State and the Exhaustion of Utopian Energies. Philosophy and Social Criticism, vol.11, no.2, pp.1–18.

Hall P.A., Soskice D. (eds.) (2001) Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Joseph S. (2004) Corporations and Transnational Human Rights Litigation, Oxford: Hart Publishing.

Kingsbury B., Krisch N., Stewart R.B. (2005) The Emergence of Global Administrative Law. Law and Contemporary Problems, vol.68, no.3, pp.15–61.

Kjaer P.F. The Structural Transformation of Democracy: Elements of a Theory of Transnational Constitutionalism, London: Routledge, forthcoming.

Klabbers J. (2009) Setting the Scene. In: Klabbers J., Peters A., Ulfstein G. (eds.). The Constitutionalization of International Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.1–44.

Koselleck R. (2006) Begriffsgeschichten: Studien zur Semantik und Pragmatik der politischen und sozialen Sprache, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.

Kumm M. (2006) Beyond Golf Clubs and the Judicialization of Politics: Why Europe Has a Constitution Properly So Called. American Journal of Comparative Law, vol.54 (Supplemental Issue), pp.505–530.

Lessig L. Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, New York: Basic Books, 1999.

Loughlin M. (2010) What is Constitutionalisation? In: Dobner P., Loughlin M. (eds.) The Twilight of Constitutionalism? Oxford: Ox-ford University Press, pp.47–72.

Manne G.A., Wright J.D. (2011) Google and the Limits of Antitrust: The Case against the Antitrust Case against Google. Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, vol.34, no.1, pp.171–244.

Mestmäcker E.J. (2003) Wirtschaft und Verfassung in der Europäischen Union. Baden-Baden: Nomos.

Nowrot K. (2007) Die transnationale Verantwortungsgemeinschaft im internationalen Wirtschaftsrecht. In: Tietje Ch., Nowrot K. (Hrsg.). Verfassungsrechtliche Dimensionen des internationalen Wirtschaftsrechts, Stuttgart; München: Boorberg, S.55–101.

Oliver D., Fedtke J. (eds.) (2007) Human Rights and the Private Sphere: A Comparative Study. London: Routledge.

Peters A. (2006) Compensatory Constitutionalism: The Function and Potential of Fundamental International Norms and Structures. Leiden Journal of International Law, vol.19, no.3, pp.579–610.

Polanyi K. (1944) The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of our Time, New York: Farrar & Rinehart.

Pollock R. (2010) Is Google the Next Microsoft: Competition, Welfare and Regulation in Internet Search. Review of Network Economics, vol.9, no.4. Art.4.

Prandini R. (2010) The Morphogenesis of Constitutionalism. In: Dobner P., Loughlin M. (eds.) The Twilight of Constitutionalism? Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.309–326.

Preuss U.K. (2012) The Guarantee of Rights: Horizontal Rights. In: Troper M., Chagnollaud D. (dir.) Traité international de droit constitutionnel. T.III: Suprématie de la Constitution, Paris: Dalloz.

Renner M. (2011) Zwingendes transnationales Recht: Zur Struktur der Wirtschaftsverfassung jenseits des Staates, Baden-Baden: Nomos.

Ridder H. (1975) Die soziale Ordnung des Grundgesetzes, Leverkusen: Westdeutscher Verlag.

Ridder H. (1960) Zur verfassungsrechtlichen Stellung der Gewerkschaften im Sozialstaat, Frankfurt: Fischer.

Rosa H., Scheuerman W.E. (eds.) (2009) High-Speed Society: Social Acceleration, Power and Modernity, University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press.

Schneiderman D. (2008) Constitutionalizing Economic Globalization: Investment Rules and Democracy’s Promise, Cambridge: Cam-bridge University Press.

Schneiderman D. (2011) Legitimacy and Reflexivity in International Investment Arbitration: A New Self-Restraint? Journal of Inter-national Dispute Settlement, vol.2, no.2, pp.471–495.

Sciulli D. (1992) Theory of Societal Constitutionalism: Foundations of a Non-Marxistic Critical Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Searle J.R. (2006) Social Ontology: Some Basic Principles. Anthropological Theory, vol.6, no.1, pp.12–29.

Selznick Ph. (1969) Law, Society and Industrial Justice, New York: Russell Sage.

Sinzheimer H. (1976) Das Wesen des Arbeitsrechts. In: Sinzheimer H. (Hrsg.) Arbeitsrecht und Rechtssoziologie, Hamburg: Europäische Verlagsanstalt.

Stäheli U. (2011) Political Epidemiology and the Financial Crisis. In: Kjaer P.F., Teubner G., Febbrajo A. (eds.) The Financial Crisis in Constitutional Perspective: The Dark Side of Functional Differentiation. Oxford: Hart Publishing, pp.113–130.

Stichweh R. (2011) Towards a General Theory of Function System Crisis. In: Kjaer P.F., Teubner G., Febbrajo A. (eds.). The Financial Crisis in Constitutional Perspective: The Dark Side of Functional Differentiation, Oxford: Hart Publishing, pp.43–60.

Stiglitz J. (2002) Globalization and its Discontents, London: Penguin.

Streeck W., Schmitter Ph.C. (1985) Private Interest Government: Beyond Market and State, New York: Sage.

Teubner G. (2012) Constitutional Fragments: Societal Constitutionalism and Globalization, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Thornhill Ch. (2010) Niklas Luhmann and the Sociology of Constitution. Journal of Classical Sociology, vol.10, no.4, pp.315–337.

Thornhill Ch. (2008) Towards a Historical Sociology of Constitutional Legitimacy. Theory and Society, vol.37, no.2, pp.161–197.

Trachtman J.P. (2006) The Constitutions of the WTO. European Journal of International Law, vol.17, no.3, pp.623–646.

Viellechner L. (2012) Constitutionalism as a Cipher: On the Convergence of Constitutionalist and Pluralist Approaches to the Globalization of Law. Goettingen Journal of International Law, vol.4, no.2, pp.599–623.

Walker N. (2008) Post-Constituent Constitutionalism: The Case of the European Union. In: Loughlin M., Walker N. (eds.) The Para-dox of Constitutionalism: Constituent Power and Constitutional Form, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.247–268.

Weiler J.H., Wind M. (eds.) (2003) European Constitutionalism beyond the State, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wiethölter R. (2005) Justifications of a Law of Society. In: Perez O., Teubner G. (eds.) Paradoxes and Inconsistencies in the Law, Oxford: Hart Publishing, pp.41–64.

Wiethölter R. (1992) Zur Regelbildung in der Dogmatik des Zivilrechts. Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie, Beiheft, Bd.45, S.222.

Zumbansen P. (2012) Comparative, Global and Transnational Constitutionalism: The Emergence of a Transnational Legal-Pluralist Order. Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No.24/2011. Global Constitutionalism, vol.1, no.1, pp.16–52.

Zumbansen P. (2009) ‘New Governance’ in European Corporate Law Regulation as Transnational Legal Pluralism. European Law Journal, vol.15, no.2, pp.246–276.