SOAS University of London

International Society of Public Law book award won by SOAS scholar

2 July 2018

Nimer Sultany, Senior Lecturer in Public Law at SOAS University of London, has jointly won the 2018 inaugural book award of the International Society of Public Law for his book Law and Revolution: Legitimacy and Constitutionalism After the Arab Spring and its world leading contribution to the field of comparative public law.

The award ceremony was held during the Society's Hong Kong Conference on 26 June 2018 where the award committee described Dr Sultany's book as "outstanding" and "boundary-pushing".

In his congratulatory address on behalf of the award committee, UCL Professor of Law Jeff King stated that the book is "incontestably in the front rank of constitutional scholarship." He described the book as a "first rate" example of critical constitutional theory and a "riveting" study that "pull[s] the legal curtain back on constitutionally significant events during the Arab Spring".

Professor King added that, "Nimer Sultany’s book tells us just what we don’t want to hear.  He does so by taking a philosophical hammer to a range of central concepts in constitutional thought and practice... Sultany tells us that settled understandings of concepts such as constituent power, legitimacy, revolution, and legality lie somewhere between innocent myth and devious distortion.  Most of these are premised on simplistic distinctions such as that between constituted and constituent power... or between legal rupture and continuity in the account of a constitutional revolution. These distinctions not only fail to survive theoretical critique, he argues, but when they are used in actual revolutionary discourse, they can conceal or ‘paper over’ the political realities. Now, that matters because these simplistic distinctions – which he calls binaries – can obstruct rather than assist the attainment of justice. In a masterful study, Sultany dissects the theory of each of these ideas before illustrating how they fail to map onto the complex events in multiple nations during the Arab Spring."

Further details on the book can be found here at the publisher’s page.