Constitutional History: Some Methodogical Reflections


  • Joaquín Varela Suanzes-Carpegna Universidad de Oviedo


Palabras clave:

concept, method, sources, constitutional history


In this article Constitutional History is defined as a branch of History with a clearly legal content, which explores the origin and development of the Liberal and Democratic-Liberal State, using an axiological concept of Constitution. Based on this definition, the study addresses some of the problems inherent in the historical study of laws and institutions, particularly with respect to doctrines and constitutional concepts. It should be stressed that an interpretation of past doctrines and concepts from a present-day perspective is not required, although the categories defined by constitutional theory must be taken into account. With the above-mentioned objective, the study draws from examples of comparative constitutional history; a field which the author has been studying for the last 35 years.

Fecha de envío / Submission Date: 18/02/2014
Fecha de aceptación / Acceptance Date: 03/04/2014

Biografía del autor/a

Joaquín Varela Suanzes-Carpegna, Universidad de Oviedo

Professor of Constitutional Law at Oviedo University and the director of the “Martínez Marina” seminar of Constitutional History, which edits the electronic journal “Historia Constitucional » and promotes the e-journal “In Itinere”. He is a specialist in Spanish and comparative constitutional history on which he has written approximately two-hundred works, some of which have been translated into English, French, Italian and Portuguese. Particularly noteworthy of his most recent books are Governo e partiti nel pensiero britannico (1688-1832) (Giuffrè, 2007), his comprehensive preliminary study for the Spanish edition of The English Constitution, by Walter Bagehot (CEPC, 2010), La Teoría del Estado en las Cortes de Cádiz (CEPC, 2011) La Monarquía doceañista. 1810-1837 (Marcial Pons, 2013) and Six études d¨histoire Constitutionnel comparée et espagnole (In Itinere, 2013). He also directs the collection, « Leyes Políticas Españolas. 1808-1978 » and is author of its first volume: Constituciones y Leyes Fundamentales (Iustel, 2012). His latest books are Política y Constitución en España (1808-1978) (CEPC, 2014) and Historia e Historiografía Constitucionales (Trotta, 2014).






Metodología de la Historia Constitucional