“Constitutionalism” in Popular Democracy
Constitutional techniques in the early days of populism and refurbished national sovereignty
May 26, 2017
Workshop at Central European University, Budapest
Convened by Andras Sajo and Renata Uitz
The fundamental design of constitutionalism is under stress. Yet, constitutionalism seems to be unprepared to identify in due course the lies that turn its very institutions against the principles they stand for. The rise of illiberal democracies, the emergence of sham or abusive constitutionalism together with the spread of populism, the shattering of global financial markets and the threat of global terror networks all contribute to a situation where fundamental values and the very relevance of constitutionalism are questioned.
There is more to the present picture than simply saying that constitutionalism, liberal democracy or the rule of law cannot withstand their challengers and enemies. It appears that constitutionalism (and especially the rule of law in its thin form) readily cater illiberal actors with solutions and procedures. We invited participants to identify the emerging techniques of deconstitutionalisation (abuse of constitutionalism, the rule of law, the impact of global communication networks etc.) and to develop critical tools for the defense of constitutionalism. We hope that by exploring the strategy of dismantling constitutionalism could lead to a new conversation on how to counter the emerging upside-down-constitutionalism.
Open to students for credit. Further conditions apply.