Thirteen Theses on Trump and Liberal Democracy

No one wants to go down in the history books like those fools who said in the 1930s, "well, Hitler isn’t such a bad chap really…" Protecting our egos from the imagined judgment of prosperity, the cautious course is to predict the worst for the Trump Presidency, the very destruction of the American constitutional regime, the collapse of liberal democratic values. I however am willing to risk being proven a fool, so here goes…

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The Big Picture

In Europe, UK, and USA constitutional structures are proving unfit to respond to the challenges of the XXI century. Now is the time to ride on the constitutional moment for the all three of them.

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The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

Part of the malaise surrounding our contemporary world is a tendency to view constitutional politics, to borrow Goethe’s metaphor, as architecture rather than music; as fixed and immutable rather than a dynamic phenomenon which requires the ongoing assertion and reassertion of the key values and terms of engagement of our mutual interaction with each other and with authority. Six practical suggestions how to defend our constitutional values.

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High time for popular constitutionalism!

Not long ago the advent of illiberal democracy has been announced. It has been mocked, downplayed, but also seriously critically engaged with, including by the authors of this blog. However, since the idea has come from marginal countries in the European East, from Hungary, Poland, but also Slovenia and the likes, it has not been really perceived as an objective threat to the Western constitutional order. The election of Donald Trump, not for who he is, but what he has been standing for, must change this.

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Is the US Constitution to blame for the Rise of Donald Trump? An Interview with SANFORD LEVINSON

"My view is that things will get worse before they get worse. Assuming Clinton wins, there will be tremendous relief and elation on November 9th. If the Republicans keep the House, on November 10th there will be the realization that this election is the most important election in our lifetimes only because of the rejection of Donald Trump. He is a real menace, of course. But in terms of an election that really breaks the logjam, no: It will be more of the same. More of this sick feeling that the national government is really incapable of responding to challenges except if Presidents can push the envelope of executive power, which will just fuel the rage of the opposition party."

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Ist die US-Verfassung schuld am Aufstieg von Donald Trump? Ein Interview mit SANFORD LEVINSON

"Meine Ansicht ist, dass die Dinge schlimmer werden, bevor sie schlimmer werden. Unterstellt, Clinton gewinnt: Es wird enorme Erleichterung und Freude am 9. November geben, aber wenn die Republikaner das Abgeordnetenhaus halten, wird schon am 10. November die Erkenntnis einkehren, dass diese Wahl die wichtigste Wahl in unserem Leben allein deswegen war, weil wir Donald Trump verhindert haben. Er ist eine echte Bedrohung, natürlich. Aber was die Erwartung betrifft, durch die Wahl den Reformstau aufzulösen, nein: es wird nur mehr vom Gleichen geben. Mehr von diesem elenden Gefühl, dass die nationale Regierung nicht wirklich in der Lage ist, auf Herausforderungen zu reagieren…"

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The TTIP Negotiations Innovations: On Legal Reasons for Cheer

After 36 months of talks, the developments in the EU’s proposals for TTIP are far from perfect or complete. However, they demonstrate a huge faith in the EU’s power to institutionally nudge global trade – and render it more legitimate and accountable, as a good global governance actor should. They arguably do provide important reasons for cheer about the evolution of global trade through law.

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