Populist Constitutionalism and Illiberal Democracies

This book examines the rise of populist constitutionalism and the main trends that have led to the current, ongoing crises in liberal democracy. Combining theoretical contributions, comparative typologies and important case studies, the spread of populism and illiberal democracy in Europe is critically explored.
Editor(s):
Martin Belov
boek | verschenen | 1e editie
februari 2021 | xviii + 380 blz.

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ISBN 9781839700606


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This book is a topical study of populist constitutionalism and illiberal democracies, exploring their roots in constitutional imagination as well as their normative entrenchment and performance in political reality. It provides insightful analysis of republican constitutionalism, focusing on the role of people in radical democracy and revolutionary constitutional reform. Furthermore, the outlook, adequacy and performance of constitutional principles in times of democratic ruptures are assessed. The contributors examine the rise of populist constitutionalism and the main trends that have led to the current, ongoing crises in liberal democracy. The book includes original analyses of populist constitutionalism from the viewpoint of emotions and constitutional imagination, as well as a special chapter devoted to the challenges posed to constitutional democracy by COVID-19. Combining theoretical contributions, comparative typologies and important case studies, the spread of populism and illiberal democracy in Europe is critically explored.

Populist Constitutionalism and Illiberal Democracies is a timely contribution to the lively discussion surrounding constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, comparative constitutionalism and political science regarding the rise and spread of illiberal democracies, authoritarian political regimes and revolutionary, radical democratic and populist constitutionalism.


With contributions by Martin Belov (University of Sofia ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’), Agnieszka Bień-Kacała (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń), Paul Blokker (University of Bologna), Monica Bonini (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca), Carlo Alberto Ciaralli (University ‘G. d’Annunzio’ of Chieti-Pescara), Eoin Daly (National University of Ireland), Gianmario Demuro (University of Cagliari), Tímea Drinóczi (University of Pécs), Wojciech Engelking (University of Warsaw), Angela Di Gregorio (University of Milano), Marcin Kilanowski (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń), Zoltán Pozsár-Szentmiklósy (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University), Przemyslaw Tacik (Jagiellonian University of Kraków), Anna Tarnowska (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń), Zoltan J. Toth (Károli Gáspár University), Julia Wesołowska (Jagiellonian University of Kraków) and Wojciech Włoch (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń).

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PROF. DR. MARTIN BELOV is a Professor of Constitutional and Comparative Constitutional Law and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Sofia 'St. Kliment Ohridski', Bulgaria. He has been a visiting professor at many European universities (most recently Paris II Pantheon-Assas, France, Roma Tre, Italy, and Goethe-University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany), a project researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2010-2012) and a visiting researcher at the Institute for Federalism, Fribourg, Switzerland (2014). He has published 18 books and more than 80 scientific papers.

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Table of Contents and Preliminary Pages (p. 0)

Martin Belov

Introduction (p. 1)

Martin Belov

PART I. Republican Constitutionalism: The Role of People in Radical Democracy

The People and the Lawgiver in Political Foundings (p. 11)

Radical Democracy and Revolutionary Reform: Looking for Solutions in Times of Democratic Disruption (p. 31)

PART II. Reassessing Constitutional Principles in Times of Democratic Ruptures

The Invisible Separation of Powers and the Control of the Central Political Power: Lessons from Hungary, Moldova and Romania (p. 47)

Rule of Law vs. Democracy: With Special Regard to the Case of Hungary (p. 77)

PART III. Populist Constitutionalism: Democracy in Crisis

The Degeneration of Contemporary Democracies as a New Phenomenology of Constitutional Transition (p. 99)

Between Law and Revolution: Is Populism Constitutional? (p. 117)

European Constitutional Order and Populist Legal Revolution: A Challenge for Western Liberal Democracies (p. 129)

PART IV. Populist Constitutionalism from the Viewpoint of Emotions and Constitutional Imagination

Populism, Constituent Power and Constitutional Imagination (p. 147)

Law and Emotions: Insights for the Study of Anti-Constitutional Populism (p. 171)

PART V. Challenges to Constitutional Democracy in Times of Covid-19 Constitutionalism and Beyond

The Role of Fear Politics in Global Constitutional ‘Ernstfall’: Images of Fear under COVID-19 Health Paternalism (p. 185)

Democracy and Human Rights in Illiberal Constitutionalism (p. 221)

PART VI. The Spread of Populism and Illiberal Democracy in Europe

Law, Revolution and Populism in Italy: The Path from Constitutional Resentment to Constitutional Renaissance (p. 251)

Polish Constitutionalism under Populist Rule: A Revolution without a Revolution (p. 275)

Representative Democracy in the Times of Populism: The Case of the Polish Parliament as a Delegated Power (p. 301)

The Roots and Guises of Legal Populism in Russia: The Narodniki, Statism and Legalism of Soviet Law and the Political Theology of Ivan Ilyin (p. 319)

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