IACL Research GroupsConstitutionalism in Illiberal Democracies
The research group addresses in comparative perspective the modern current of illiberal constitutionalism and the challenges it poses on accepted notions of constitutional law.
In the twenty years since the end of the last ‘wave of democratization’ it has become clear that, along with traditional liberal-constitutional democracies, an important number of countries have embraced different forms of ‘illiberal’ democracy, that is, they are regimes in which there are competitive elections of political authorities but that concentrate power around the executive office, to the point that even the courts are under the control of the government.
Even though in the past there have been many authoritarian, semi authoritarian and even totalitarian regimes which pretended to cloak their true nature under a constitution, recent examples have showed a current of thought which tries to present these regimes as a new and more efficient type of constitutionalism, putting into question long established notions of constitutional government.
This development has examples in different areas of the world, thus becoming a subject of study with great interest for scholars globally, in line with the international nature of the IACL. However, the research group will not be limited to the study of current examples of this type of ‘constitutionalism’, but may also include the analysis of past examples, in order to explore similarities, identify possible patterns of authoritarian ‘constitutionalism’ and draw lessons which may help to better understand this phenomenon. The examination will not focus only on specific examples of this current, but will also undertake to single out common features among those different examples.
The events that we have scheduled so far are the following:
28th April 2016Workshop, Sub-group on “General Theory of Illiberal Constitutionalism”Venue: Bocconi University, Milan - Italy
European Autumn 2015/Spring 2016Seminar Series on “Democratisation in Central Asia”, Sub-group on “Eurasia”Venue: Johns Hopkins University, Bologna & Bocconi University, Milan – Italy
European Autumn 2016Workshop, Sub-group on "Illiberal Elements in Consolidated Democracies"Venue: University of Padova - Italy
European Spring 20172-day International Congress on "Constitutionalism in Illiberal Democracies"Venue: Buenos Aires – Argentina
The research group is jointly coordinated bys and .
Professor Justin O. Frosini (
Professor Ricardo Ramirez-Calvo (
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