More Is Less: Multiple Citizenship, Political Participation, and Mr Erdogan

I must differ with my colleague, Peter Spiro, and those who consider dual citizenship unproblematic or even progressive and a facilitator of immigrant integration. The devaluation of citizenship that widespread dual citizenship both reflects and worsens is in fact bad for those who need democracy and seek social equality. It is also another moment in which political power has yielded to market power. At the same time, making dual citizenship illegal, or even discouraging it, is a pointless effort since even after the current nationalist-populist wave passes, human mobility is highly likely to remain at high levels.

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A Homeless Ghost? European Legal Integration in Search of a Polity

A member of the European Parliament recently compared the European Union to an Airbus on autopilot attempting to cross the Alps without taking off the ground. Be it the EU’s piecemeal approach to fixing its economic governance post-financial crisis or its inability to speak with one voice in matters of common concern from internal border management to external trade: there is a growing sense of urgency in reforming the EU legal architecture to steer European integration back on course. However, such functional necessities are unlikely to sway the peoples of Europe who – tired of the EU’s attempts at technocratic self-rule – increasingly retreat into the homeliness of their nation-states. From the early ‘no more’ war discourse to the ‘no choice’ rhetoric of late in governing a Union in crisis, European integration has often been presented as a political inevitability. Yet it appears that the most ambitious modern project of legal and political integration beyond the state has come to a halt – where from here?

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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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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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Ganz Gallien? Fehlschlüsse aus dem wallonischen CETA-Veto

Wallonien lässt die westliche Welt zappeln – und wird dafür je nach politischem Standpunkt des Betrachters als einzig aufrechtes gallisches Dorf besungen oder als eigennützige Erpresserbande geschmäht. Stutzig macht jedoch die prompte Reaktion, man hätte CETA besser doch nicht als „gemischtes Abkommen“ einstufen sollen, sondern als Abkommen zwischen der EU und Kanada ohne direkte Beteiligung der Mitgliedstaaten. Diese Reaktion zeugt von Demokratieverachtung.

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Calling Europe into Question: the British and the Greek referenda

On this day last year, Greeks woke up facing a referendum result that very few had expected. Almost a year later, on the 24th of June 2016, British and other Europeans woke up overwhelmingly surprised by the ‘Leave’ vote. Despite their significant differences, the Greek and the British referenda have some important things in common. Reading them together might have something to teach us about referenda on the EU—especially now that more people seem to be asking for one in their own country.

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Sovereign and misinformed: Brexit as an exercise in democracy?

Rather than criticising the Brexit referendum as a decision-making tool because ‘the people’ don’t have the necessary expertise to take decisions of this magnitude, we should question the conditions in which many UK voters were called to express their opinion. They, like many all over the world, have seen the progressive hollowing-out of those basic rights that make voting the expression of the right to individual and collective self-rule in the first place.

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Aus Anlass Polens: einige Überlegungen zum Recht auf Widerstand

Ab heute ist es amtlich: Die Mittel, zu denen Polens Regierung, Präsident und Parlamentsmehrheit im Konflikt mit dem polnischen Verfassungsgericht gegriffen haben, sind nicht einfach nur ein Verfassungsverstoß. Das ist ein Angriff auf die Grundlagen der Verfassungsstaatlichkeit selbst – auf Rechtsstaatlichkeit, Demokratie und Menschenrechte. Wäre eine Konstellation, wie sie im Augenblick in Polen zu finden ist, ein Anwendungsfall für ein Art. 20 Abs. 4 Grundgesetz entsprechendes Recht auf Widerstand? Mir scheint, das wäre sie – wenn die polnische Regierung sich dem Gutachten der Venedig-Kommission nicht beugt.

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The Polish Constitutional Crisis and “Politics of Paranoia”

Thanks to the growing interest in the “Polish case”, Europe should now have a clear legal understanding of what is going on in Poland and of the motives of the government: the systemic repudiation of some of the fundamental principles of Polish constitutional order, rule of law, legality, separation of powers, independence of the judiciary, supremacy of the Constitution and the monopoly of constitutional review.

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