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Law, Politics, and the Constitution

New Perspectives from Legal and Political Theory


Antonia Geisler, Michael Hein and Siri Hummel

The fourth Yearbook of the Central and Eastern European Forum of Young Legal, Political and Social Theorists reassesses central concepts of modern constitutionalism between the poles of law and politics: separation of powers, constitutional review, and constitutional rights and obligations. Fourteen legal scholars and political scientists from the region contribute to interrelated debates in both disciplines. Two questions are particularly raised: How can the aforementioned concepts be understood? And: Which role do they play in current national and supra-national institutions? With regard to the second question, an essential part of the chapters focuses on current developments within the European Union and in post-socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe.
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What is ‘Politicisation’ of Constitutional Courts? Towards a Decision-oriented Concept


Michael Hein and Stefan Ewert


‘Politicisation’ is one of the most frequently used keywords in public discourse and scientific research on constitutional courts. However, whereas the concept of judicialisation, which is equally important in this field of research, has been the subject of considerable discussion in political and legal theory, a distinct definition of the term politicisation is lacking in many studies. In light of this, we address the question of how politicisation of constitutional courts can adequately be understood. To this end, we examine the theoretical conceptions of the relationship between politics, law and constitutional adjudication that underlie the different understandings of politicisation. Based on our findings, we develop a decision-oriented concept of politicisation, which is not only suitable for many theoretical approaches, but can also be detected in numerous empirical studies.

‘Politicisation’ is one of the most frequently used keywords in public discourse and scientific research on constitutional courts. On many occasions, these courts are publicly blamed for taking political rather than legal decisions, for illegitimately overstepping the bounds of constitutional law, for intervening in the politics of the day and for exceeding their competencies to the disadvantage of parliament and government. However, in political and legal research on constitutional courts, politicisation also features as one of the central analytical terms used. It can be found in numerous studies that deal with political influences on or political consequences of constitutional adjudication (instead of others, see Alivizatos 1995; Stone Sweet 2000; Grimm...

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