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Constitutional Foundations

About the Project:

Within the framework of the IPE project, this research aims to analyze the evolution and Gestalt of different European constitutional systems. The research will be carried out through country reports allotted to national experts who explain the historical background and struggles of each constitution as well as their basic structures. The study will show which elements of domestic constitutional law have imitated other systems and highlights the peculiarities of every constitution.

Firstly, the origins of each constitution will be explained. The research will investigate the foreign and domestic influences on the current constitution and the major challenges and questions during the constituent debates as well as the political equilibria within the constituent assembly.

Secondly, the authors will examine the evolution of each constitution through interpretation and amendments. The essential actors and most relevant conflicts will be highlighted to address the degree of rigidity and flexibility of the constitutions and understand which institutions, political parties, or associations triggered the evolutionary changes.

Thirdly, attention will be devoted to the role and the position of the constitutions within the legal and political systems. In each case, the authors will examine the meaning and use of basic concepts, notably democracy, rule of law, sovereignty, the state, and the separation of powers.

Finally, the main features of the so-called constitutional identity will be defined.

The case studies will include Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

The final results will be published in a collective volume edited by Armin von Bogdandy, Pedro Cruz Villalón, Peter. Huber, and Sabrina Ragone.

Coordinators: Armin von Bogdandy and Sabrina Ragone

Volume II: Constitutional Foundations of the Max Planck Handbooks in European Public Law was published in 2023.