Hundreds of rural communities tasted political freedom in the Holy Roman Empire. For shorter or longer periods, villagers managed local affairs without subjection to territorial overlords. In this first book-length study, Beat Kümin focuses on the five case studies of Gochsheim and Sennfeld (in present-day Bavaria), Sulzbach and Soden (Hesse) and Gersau (Switzerland). Adopting a comparative perspective across the late medieval and early modern periods, the analysis of multiple sources reveals distinct extents of rural self-government, the forging of communalized confessions and an enduring attachment to the empire. Negotiating inner tensions as well as mounting centralization pressures, Reichsdörfer provide privileged insights into rural micro-political cultures while their stories resonate with resurgent desires for greater local autonomy in Europe today.
In Constitutional Principles of Local Self-Government in Europe Giovanni Boggero offers a meticulous account of the defining features of European constitutional local government law using both an international and comparative law perspective. The book argues that differences between local government systems in Europe, typical examples of internal affairs of a State, can be smoothed away by construing a consistent system of constitutional principles to be coherently applied at domestic level across the whole European legal space. This system can be best grasped by looking at the European Charter of Local Self-Government, which embodies a concept of self-government rooted in common legal traditions, and at its subsequent practice within the Council of Europe.
Saïd Amir Arjomand
The themes of nation-building, post-colonial modernization and constitution-making, post-communist return to the rule of law and constitutional reconstruction, the global expansion of judicial power and judicial activism by the constitutional courts are usually studied by different specialists with somewhat narrow foci. This book is a unique and ambitious interdisciplinary attempt at the integration of these related fields, and offers a timely theoretical synthesis of the most important global constitutional trends in the last half-century. These essays by prominent authorities on different subjects and geographical areas offer a comprehensive, comparative view of the most important constitutional developments of two eras, bringing together the transplantation of the constitutional pattern of the nation-state and the current wave of globalization of constitutionalism and the rule of law. Contributors are: S.A.Arjomand, Nathan J. Brown, Ruth Gavison, Julian Go, Keyvan Tabari, Heinz Klug, Jill Cottrell, Yash Ghai, László Sólyom, Jacek Kurczewski, Anders Fogelklou, Grażyna Skąpska, Dieter Grimm, Kim Lane Scheppele, Ruth Rubio Marín , and Dicle Kogacioğlu.