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Istituto per i Beni Culturali Emilia-Romagna

Memoria e Ricerca

Constitutional History as Cultural History

di Reinhard Blänkner
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 35 (2010), p. 13

The cultural turn within the Humanities has recently taken place in constitutional history, too. To understand and practise constitutional history in the sense of cultural history does not merely mean expanding the view of constitution to include culture, which so far has not been a focus of interest besides law and politics. Rather, the cultural approach to constitutional history is characterized by three focus points of interest: the historicity of constitutionalism as a histoire-problème; the institutional mechanisms of a constitution as a legal-political order; and constitutional history as part of constitutionalism comprised in a broader system of knowledge. In this threefold sense, constitutionalism can be conceived as a specific historical symbolic order. From this perspective, the article focuses on German constitutionalism at the turn of the 19th century.