Law, Violence and Constituent Power : The Law, Politics And History Of Constitution Making book cover
1st Edition

Law, Violence and Constituent Power
The Law, Politics And History Of Constitution Making

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 30, 2021
ISBN 9780367516710
May 30, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
296 Pages

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Book Description

This book challenges traditional theories of constitution-making to advance an alternative view of constitutions as being founded on power which rests on violence.

The work argues that rather than the idea of a constitution being the result of political participation and deliberation, all power instead is based on violence. Hence the creation of a constitution is actually an act of coercion, where, through violence, one social group is able to impose itself over others. The book advocates that the presence of violence be used as an assessment of whether genuine constitutional transformation has taken place, and that the legitimacy of a constitutional order should be dependent upon the absence of killing.

The book will be essential reading for academics and researchers working in the areas of constitutional law and politics, legal and political theory, and constitutional history.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Violence And Foundation

Chapter One - Methodological Considerations

Chapter Two - The Concept Of Constituent Power And The Concept Of Constitution

Chapter Three Violence And Constituent Power In The Creation Of The American Republic

Chapter Four - Constituent Power Without ‘We The People’: The Foundation Of The Federal Republic Of Germany

Chapter Five - ‘New Constitutionalism’ And The Emergence Of Constituent Power In Some Recent Experiences


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Hèctor López Bofill Is Associate Professor in Constitutional Law at Pompeu Fabra University. He has written eight books and more than twenty articles in the field of constitutional theory, fundamental rights, federalism, secessionism and judicial review of legislation. He is also a writer in Catalan language. He has published five poetry books and five novels which have received several awards.


"Héctor López Bofill’s offers a powerful argument showing that all states and instances of true constitutional transformation (including those that have led to liberal constitutional orders), have at their origin episodes of violence and death.  His book is a historically and theoretically informed analysis, traversing multiple jurisdictions, that directly challenges contemporary approaches to popular constitution-making".

Joel Colón-Ríos