Cleaning up after 2016

The end of this year of 2016 draws close, and relief about that fact, ill-founded as it may be, is palpable wherever I go. It has been a rough ride for constitutionalists, and we all deserve some days of rest and peace, if we can afford it. Therefore, I will spare you with seasonal reviews and reflections on these almost consistently dreadful twelve months past and highlight only one fact hopefully suitable to lift your spirits a bit: Since Brexit, support for European integration has jumped by 5 percent throughout the EU and by 7 percent in the UK.

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On Dreams and Nightmares

As the "Eurocrat’s Dream" has ended, what have we woken up to? Since the very noteworthy collection of essays under title "The End of the Eurocrat’s Dream", edited by CHRISTIAN JOERGES, DAMIEN CHALMERS and MARCUS JACHTENFUCHS, has appeared this spring, the waking-life reality in Europe and beyond has taken on a decidedly nightmarish character.

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The Lure of the New Normal

No-one can remain in a constant state of exception, that would be a contradiction in terms. Any emergency that goes on for too long becomes somewhat normal over time. If things refuse to get less terrifying, all we can do is raise our level of terrification, isn’t it? Donald Trump will let a White Supremacists' media darling shape his political strategies – but hey: he deserves a chance, right? Austria is weeks away from falling into the hands of the far-right populists, with other European countries lining up behind it – but please, let’s not overreact, maybe we are all just out of touch with what ordinary people think and feel?

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Week #1 after Trump

I will not bore you with yet another account of how stunned I still am and how I shake in my booths now and so forth. We all do, I suppose. The world has changed over night, quite literally. And the world we woke up in on Wednesday morning appears to be a far less habitable place for liberal constitutionalists who believe that state and society should respect human dignity, protect the vulnerable, overcome discrimination and impose on their own power those legal restraints that empower them in the first place.

How could this happen? What did we do wrong? What can we do now? Shall we stand our ground or adapt?

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Enemies of the People?

"Enemies of the People": that is, according to the Daily Mail, what the High Court judges are. Joseph Stalin would have been wildly amused by this way of putting things… Leaving aside such 30s reminiscences, it seems to me too simple to reduce this phenomenon solely to the disgracefulness of the British boulevard press and Tory backbenchers. There is something more fundamental going on. Not only in the United Kingdom. But in the entire Western democratic constitutional space.

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