ABSTRACT: After 1989, constitutionalism appeared to go on a triumphant global march. Constitutionalism seemed inextricably linked to democracy in an overall package with the label “liberal democracy.” Not least, it was good for business; a global industry flourished to promote it and the rule of law. A quarter century later the picture looks rather different. Democratic constitutionalism remains a prized possession, which appears without alternative for the stable and sustainable organization of democratic political systems. But what can pass for constitutionalism appears to have changed dramatically; and the directly proportional relationship between constitutionalism and liberal democracy has been put into doubt. The often naïve attempt to develop stable democratic systems by means of “constitutional engineering” has frequently been disappointed. Most worrying, authoritarian regimes seem to have developed a form of constitutionalism that scholars have found hard to understand and to criticize; many of the traditional tools to detect domination and lack of pluralism do not seem to work very well: just think of the difficulties in assessing recent developments in Turkey, Hungary, and Poland. Meanwhile, in the EU at large, the inclusion of “debt brakes” in the constitutions of the Eurozone countries has conjured up the specter of an “authoritarian liberalism”, where constraints on popular will formation in a range of policy areas are so tight that the existence of democracy itself can be called into question.
Against the background of these developments, we would like to examine the emergence of authoritarian constitutions more closely. How can they be recognized? How do they function? And how do politicians justify them? Are there historical precedents that might be examined productively, or are we in completely uncharted waters?
Reflection pieces can be found at: https://ln.sync.com/dl/6b6cbe390/qay9thrg-c8mwmq44-ydiyvrh6-vmi9xvk9.
Please contact Kim Girman at (609) 258-5496 for the password.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday, October 13, 2017
9:45 - Welcome and Introduction
Silvia von Steinsdorff, Anna Kaiser, Jan-Werner Mueller
10:00 - Authoritarian Constitutionalism: Conceptual Challenges
Chair: Jan-Werner Mueller
- Kim Lane Scheppele: “Autocratic Legalism“
- Christoph Schoenberger: "The Constitution of Silence: Elements of Authoritarian Constitutionalism"
- Felix Petersen: "Popular and Populist Sovereignty?”
1:30 - Causes and Consequences
Chair: Anna Kaiser
3:30 - Cases I
Chair: Silvia von Steinsdorff
- Alexei Trochev: "Authoritarian Constitutionalism in Putin's Russia: Pragmatic Constitutional Court in the Dual State"
- Nura A. Hossainzadeh: "Authoritarian Constitutionalism in Religious Government"
- Ece Göztepe: "New Indicators for Authoritarianism: The Case of Turkey"
- Student Presentation on Venezuela?
Saturday, October 14, 2017
9:30 - Cases II
Chair: Kim Lane Scheppele
- Renata Uitz: "Reflections on authoritarian constitutionalism: Six P-words past populism"
- Dongxian Jiang: "Constitutionalism with Chinese Characteristics?"
- Maria Adele Carrai: "Global Constitutionalism and the Challenge of China's Exceptionalism"
1:00 - Counter-Strategies?
Chair: Jan-Werner Müller
- Zachary Elkins: "Militant Democracy’ and the Pre-emptive Constitution”
- Silvia von Steinsdorff: "The European model of a state under the rule of law: Remedy against 'democratic backsliding' or part of the problem?"
- Tomek Koncewicz: "Unconstitutional Capture and Constitutional Recapture. Of the rule of law, separation of powers and judicial promises“
- Vlad Perju: “Elements of a Doctrine of Universal Constitutional Norms”
The workshop is cosponsored by the Department of Politics, the Bouton Law Lectures Fund and a Humboldt-Princeton Strategic Partnership Grant.