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 Paradox of Liberal Constitutionalism: a Call for Communal Constitutionalism

We should be careful when we embrace the new transnational paradigm. If dialogue can take place, this must not forget that constitutionalism’s soul must be looked for at the local level, not in the fluid transnational arena – beyond the seemingly neutral vocabulary of technocracy, and reaching out to a physical space where claims can be put forward, resources allocated, boundaries defined, and decisions contested, within touching distance.

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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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On the Slippery Slope to a ,People’s Court'

Writes Matej Avbelj in High time for popular constitutionalism!, ‘The majority in our societies seems to be increasingly disconnected with the liberal values that especially the legal academia, but also the ruling political class – at least on a declaratory level – have taken for granted…’ Living as I do in the country in which one sees an increasing distaste for the European Convention of Human Rights and regular media criticism of the ‘unelected judges’ in Strasbourg – and that despite the fact that the judges of the Court are, in fact, elected from a slate of three by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – I cannot help wondering whether the disconnect is anything very new.

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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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