Constitutions make up the foundations of societies and from a historical point of view there is little doubt that constitutional law and its various manifestations has had a crucial impact on the development of modern society. At a more detailed level constitutions provide meta rules about how state mechanisms and rule-making processes in a given society are intended to function.
The publication of this volume is well timed. In the European sphere constitutional law is currently much debated, especially as a consequence of the European Union (EU) integration project and its accompanying demands for constitutional revisions and adoption of super governmental principles. The impact of the project is much discussed and the opinions vary. The process also has initiated referendums in several countries, and the recent failure to ratify the new Constitutional Treaty has prompted a renewed debate on the legitimacy of European integration. Simultaneously a number of events in which several constitutional principles appear to clash with religious and ethical concerns have been given much attention in the media. Several recent incidents have also stirred up debates concerning the limits of constitutional principles and the need for revisions. The Danish publication of Muhammad caricatures, frequent clashes between principles concerning freedom of the press versus privacy, minority rights, and the protection of religious freedom are just a few examples of this. In the first part of this 52nd volume of Scandinavian Studies of Law (Sc.St.L.) 17 articles on constitutional law are presented. The second part is a documentation of the second annual conference of the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (SIEPS) Why Europe? Possibilities and limits of European integration which was held in Stockholm 16 November 2006. The purpose of the conference was to provide scholarly perspectives on the sources of legitimacy, the democratic credentials and the constitutional alternatives for the EU. The contributions in this section are further elaborations of the speeches delivered at the conference. In addition, in order to provide a background to the discussions, this volume presents English versions of the Constitutions of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden