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Power to the People: Constitutionalism in the Age of Populism

ISBN13: 9780197606711
Published: April 2022
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £30.99

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Self-described populist leaders around the world are dismantling their nation's constitutions. This has led to a widespread view that populism as such is inconsistent with constitutionalism. This book proposes that some forms of populism are inconsistent with constitutionalism, while others aren't. Context and detail matter.

Power to the People offers a thin definition of constitutionalism that people from the progressive left to the conservative right should be able to agree on even if they would supplement the thin definition withn other more partisan ideas. This is followed by a similarly basic definition of populism. Comparing the two, this book argues that one facet of populism -its suspicion of institutions that are strongly entrenched against change by political majorities-is sometimes inconsistent with constitutionalism'sbthinly understood definition.

The book provides a series of case studies, some organized by nation, others by topic, to identify, more precisely, when and how populist programs are inconsistent with constitutionalism-and, importantly, when and how they are not. Concluding with a discussion of the possibilities for a deeper, populist democracy, the book examines recent challenges to the idea that democracy is a good form of government by exploring possibilities for new, albeit revisable, institutions that can determine and implement a majority's views without always threatening constitutionalism.

Constitutional and Administrative Law, Law and Society
Note on Sources
Part One: The Framework
Chapter 1. What Is Constitutionalism?
Chapter 2. What Is Populism?
Chapter 3. Populism and Constitutionalism
Part Two: Populism in Practice
Chapter 4. Populist Authoritarianism: Hungary and Poland
Chapter 5. The Problem of the Frankenstate
Chapter 6. Populism in Western Europe
Chapter 7. Southern Europe: Greece and Spain
Chapter 8. Court- Packing or Court Reform?: Challenging Judicial Independence by Enhancing Accountability
Chapter 9. Populism and Executive Power: Term Limits and Rule by Decree
Chapter 10. Guardrails and Institutions
Part Three: Constitutionalism After Populism
Chapter 11. Rejecting Democracy
Chapter 12. Power to the People: Empowered Democracy