Constitutional Moments

Founding Myths, Charters and Constitutions through History


Volume Editor:
“Constitution” is a rich term in Western political culture, encompassing political and juridical doctrine as well as government practices through the ages. This volume examines “constitutional moments” in history, those occasions or episodes when significant steps were taken in the definition or redefinition of polities. Their actors were writers or politicians, rulers or ruled, who found inspiration in a distant past or instead looked towards a future to be drawn anew. This book sheds light on such moments from Ancient Greece to the present day, mostly in Europe but also in the Ottoman world and the Americas, thereby uncovering a revealing variety of constitutional thinking and action throughout history.

Contributors are: Jon Arrieta, Niall Bond, Luc Brisson, Peter Cholakov, Nora Chonowski, Angela De Benedictis, F. Sinem Eryilmaz, Hakon Evju, Pablo Fernández Albaladejo, Javier Fernández Sebastián, Merieke Gebhardt, Xavier Gil, Mark J. Hill, Ferenc Hörcher, Jaska Kainulainen, Thomas Lorman, Adriana Luna-Fabritius, Ere Nokkala, Brian Kjaer Olesen, András Pap, Nikola Regent, Alberto Mariano Rodríguez Martínez, Pablo Sánchez León, José Reis Santos, and Ersin Yildiz.

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Xavier Gil, Ph.D. (1989), University of Barcelona, is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Barcelona. He has published numerous works on Iberian and European political thought and culture, including La fábrica de la Monarquía. Traza y conservación de la Monarquía de España de los Reyes Católicos y los Austrias (Real Academia de la Historia, 2016).
List of Illustrations

Notes on Contributors

  Xavier Gil

Part 1
Ancient and Medieval Times

1 The Critic of the Family (oikos) at the Foundations of Plato’s Political Doctrine Myth and Reality
  Luc Brisson

2 The Influence of Roman Law on Medieval Bulgarian Legislation Sources and Developments of the Main Constitutional Issues
  Petar Cholakov

Part 2
Renaissance and Early Modern Era
Section 1 
Myths and Politics

3 Biscay in the Spanish Monarchy Myth, History, and Law in the Making of Its Constitutional Regime (14th to 17th Centuries)
  Jon Arrieta

4 The Myth of Sobrarbe between Old Europe and the New World A Reassessment
  Angela De Benedictis

5 Law, Wisdom, and Politics in Making Süleyman “The Lawgiver”
  Fatma Sinem Eryılmaz

Section 2
Governance and Change
6 After Revolts Moments for Constitutional Refashioning in Early Modern Europe
  Xavier Gil

7 Accommodatio in the Jesuit Constitutions
  Jaska Kainulainen

8 The Monarchical Moment Constitutionalism, Lutheran Political Thought, and the Rise of Danish Absolutism
  Brian Kjær Olesen

9 A Model Republican Constitution? Guicciardini vs. Machiavelli on the Roman Example
  Nikola Regent

10 The Union of Utrecht An Unfinished Constitutional Definition between Federalism and Particularism in the Low Countries (1579–1621)
  Alberto Mariano Rodríguez Martínez

Part 3
The Enlightenment
11 Ancient Constitutionalism in the Age of Enlightenment The Case of Denmark-Norway
  Håkon Evju

12 Rousseau and Poland Pragmatic Rebirth Rather than Idealistic Reforms?
  Mark J. Hill

13 The Lawgiver in Eighteenth-Century Neapolitan Political Thought Charting Mediterranean Liberalism
  Adriana Luna-Fabritius

14 From Masterpiece of Modern Legislation to an Aristocratic Oligarchy Contemporary European Appraisals of the Swedish Constitution of the Age of Liberty (1719–1772)
  Ere Nokkala

Part 4
The Nineteenth Century
15 “Dark Spots of Our History” Martínez Marina and Foundational Myths in Eighteenth-Century Spain
  Pablo Fernández Albaladejo

16 The Metamorphoses of a Historical Constitution Longue durée Developments in Nineteenth-Century Hungarian Constitutional and Political Thought
  Ferenc Hörcher and Thomas Lorman

17 Constitutional Imagination and “Catholic” Political Anthropology The Grammar of the Mixed Constitution in the Mid-19th Century Crisis of Spanish Liberalism
  Pablo Sánchez León

Part 5
The Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
18 The Weimar Constitutional Moment Constitutionalism, Theoretical Debate and Political Conflict
  Ersin Yildiz

19 The Portuguese Estado Novo Constitutional Process as a Model for Transitioning to Authoritarianism in the Europe of the New Order
  José Reis Santos

20 The Framing of a Liberal Democratic Constitution in Post-War Western Germany
  Niall Bond

21 From 1989 to 2010 Founding Myths and Moments of the Liberal and the Illiberal Constitutional Revolutions in Hungary
  Nóra Chronowski and András L. Pap

Part 6
Theoretical Issues
22 An Unbroken Continuity? Constitutional Crises and Historical Imagination
  Javier Fernández-Sebastián

23 The Dirty Secret of New Beginnings Founding a Democracy between Nothing and Narration
  Mareike Gebhardt


This book will appeal to graduate and post-graduate students, researchers, academic libraries, scholars and more general readers interested in the history of political and constitutional thought, legal history, comparative politics, and political science.
  • Collapse
  • Expand