A Discourse Perspective on Bunreacht na hÉireann: A Sound Constitution?

Constitutions tell us something about the shared values cherished by nations who adopt them. By reason of their significance for the countries where they are in force, constitutional texts may be approached from various perspectives, including political science and legal theory. In this book, a different angle is taken on the matter. As its object of study, the Constitution of Ireland is investigated from a discourse perspective. In particular, the volume fields the following research questions: Why has the Constitution been such a key document for the Republic?; What was and is the impact of the Constitution on Irish public discourse, at both a popular and a specialised level?; How was the Constitution represented and “argued” by the Irish press upon its enactment?; How has it entered the argumentation of Irish judges across the decades, as they have been required to pronounce on the compatibility of proposed legislation with its norms? By combining a wide range of analytical approaches, the book establishes a workable, integrated and highly flexible methodological framework for the study of the relationship between Ireland’s founding charter and the country’s public sphere.


Davide Mazzi is Associate Professor of English at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy. His research interests concentrate on legal and news discourse, which he has explored mainly in an Irish context. His recent publications include: “By partially renouncing their sovereignty...”: On the discourse function(s) of lexical bundles in EU-related Irish judicial discourse, in Phraseology in Legal and Institutional Settings (2017); “Phraseology, argumentation and identity in Supreme Court of Ireland’s judgments on language policy” in Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice (2018); and Views of Place, Views of Irishness. Representing the Gaeltacht in the Irish Press, 1895-1905 (2019).

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ISBN: 1-5275-5589-5

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-5589-1

Release Date: 17th August 2020

Pages: 152

Price: £58.99

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