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, Andras 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.
Andras Jakab is the Director of the Institute for Legal Studies at the Centre for Social Sciences at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest where he holds a tenured research chair. He is also a Schumpeter Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg.
1. Introduction; 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.