Lunedì, 05 Settembre 2016


Studio dei recenti progetti di riforma costituzionale in Ungheria, Islanda, Italia, e nel Regno Unito..

Full title: Constitutional Politics in Post-Westphalian Europe

Duration: 01 June 2012 to 31 August 2015

Total cost: €307.000,00

Contribution PAT: €307.000,00

Host Organization: Università degli Studi di Trento

Project leader: Paul Blokker

Any other participants: Cristina Parau, Kristzina Kovacs, Baldvin Bergsson

Scientific or technological area: 14/C3 - sociologia dei fenomeni politici e giuridici


Keywords: Constitutionalism – Constitutional Reform – Constitutional Sociology – Hungary – Iceland - Italy – United Kingdom


Background and Objectives:

In Europe, constitutional reforms are evermore frequent, and in particular since the economic crisis. The project analyzes recent constitutional reform projects in Hungary, Iceland, Italy, and the United Kingdom. The objective is to understand the causes of, and justifications for, reform, as well as to study critique of and resistance to reform. The project uses an innovative, interdisciplinary, politico-sociological approach to constitutionalism, focussing on a multiplicity of actors, not merely the ‘usual suspects’ of judges, lawyers, and politicians, but equally civil society representatives. The comparative framework develops four models of constitutionalism, used in an analysis of constitutional orders and identities, of reform design and methods, and of key actors’ understandings, justifications, and criticism. The empirical-comparative analysis consists of an in-depth study of four national trajectories in the period 1989-2015, including historical-institutional analysis, interviewing, and constitutional surveys of judges, politicians, and civil society representatives.


State of the art and innovation potential (i.e. ground-breaking nature of the objectives, concepts involved, issues and problems to be addressed and achievements foreseen beyond state-of-the-art):

Existing research on constitutional reform focusses on questions of design and legal principles of constitutionalism, but is not concerned with the analysis of social and political justifications for, as well as resistance against and critique on, reform. The project researches the contested nature of constitutions in European democracies, in times of a rapid metamorphosis of constitutionalism.


Organization of work:

The team was coordinated by Paul Blokker, PhD., and consisted of Cristina Parau, PhD., Krisztina Kovacs, PhD., and Baldvin Bergsson, MA., each responsible for the analysis of, and fieldwork in, the respective case-studies: Italy, United Kingdom, Hungary and Iceland. Interdisciplinary research focusses on constitutional reform, justifications and critique, and combined methods of sociology, constitutional law, political science.


Results obtained:

The results include institutional and sociological analyses of four constitutional orders (constitutional identity, reform projects, causes and justifications, and forms of (societal) critique to reform). Generated data includes sets of interviews with key actors, sets of constitutional statements, and four national surveys (Q-sorts). Deliverables consist of publications (in English), international conferences (Budapest, Oxford, and Trento), and international conference participation.



The data and insights are relevant for scholars in a variety of academic disciplines and institutions, providing insight in constitutional reform design and methods, constitutional debates, and resulting legitimacy. The outputs and results of the project are of great interest to public authorities (e.g. parliamentary commissions on institutional and constitutional reform), EU institutions, juridical institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations, and social movements.

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