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Working group

Constitutional Imaginaries: A Theory of European Societal Constitutionalism

Book presentation by Jiří Přibáň

Add to calendar 2022-05-11 16:30 2022-05-11 17:30 Europe/Rome Constitutional Imaginaries: A Theory of European Societal Constitutionalism Sala del Consiglio Villa Salviati- Castle YYYY-MM-DD


11 May 2022

16:30 - 17:30 CEST


Sala del Consiglio

Villa Salviati- Castle

Organised by

Department of Law

The EUI Legal and Political Theory Working Group and the Constitutionalism and Politics Working Group will host a book discussion event with Professor Jiří Přibáň, who will provide an account of his sociological approach to understanding the legitimacy of constitutions, as presented in his most recent book: 'Constitutional Imaginaries: A Theory of European Societal Constitutionalism (Routledge 2022)'.

Jirí Pribán is a Professor of Law at the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University. He is the founding director of the Centre of Law and Society and an editor of the Journal of Law and Society. He was also visiting professor or scholar at the European University Institute in Florence, New York University (Prague Office), University of California in Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Pretoria, The Flemish Academy in Brussels and University of New South Wales, Sydney. 

You can find a brief preview of what the book is about here.


Constitutional imaginaries invite constitutional and political theorists, philosophers and sociologists to rethink the concept of constitution as the normative legal limitation and control of political power. They show that political constitutions include societal forces impossible to contain by legal norms and political institutions. The constitution of society as one polity defined by the unity of topos-ethnos-nomos, that is the unity of territory, people and their laws, informed the rise of modern nations and nationalisms as much as constitutional democratic statehood and its liberal and republican regimes. However, the imaginary of polity as one nation living on a given territory under the constitutional rule of law is challenged by the process of European integration and its imaginaries informed by transnational legal and societal pluralism, administrative governance, economic performativity and democratically mobilised polity. This book discusses the sociology of imagined communities and the philosophy of modern social imaginaries in the context of transnational European constitutionalism and its recent theories, most notably the theory of societal constitutions. It offers a new approach to the legal constitutions as societal power formations evolving at national, European and global levels.  

The event is open to all, and we are looking forward to what will inevitably be an engaging presentation and discussion.

This event will take the form of a book discussion, but attendees are welcome to send questions in advance to [email protected]



Oskar Polanski (EUI)

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