New Democracies in Crisis: Towards Illiberal and Away from Civic Constitutionalism?

Event Name New Democracies in Crisis: Towards Illiberal and Away from Civic Constitutionalism?
Start Date 3rd Jun 2014 3:00pm
End Date 3rd Jun 2014 5:00pm
Duration 2 hours

Open to all.

Speaker: Dr Paul Blokker, CoPolis/University of Trento

Title: ‘New Democracies in Crisis: Towards Illiberal and Away from Civic Constitutionalism?’

Abstract: The impact of EU accession on new national constitutional orders includes a certain thrust towards a liberal or legal-constitutionalist order as well as an endorsement of a distinctive liberal, representative democratic model and related institutional constellation. But a relatively undiscussed telos of democratization and constitutionalization of the new member states has not remained without domestic reactions and national deviationary pathways. In particular in the post-accession period, EU accession has in some cases invoked particularist reactions within distinct national arenas, which have abused or explicitly criticized the idea of legal constitutionalism and judicial supremacy as well as external infringement on national constitutional orders. What might be understood as particularly problematic are the implications for democratic participation and an understanding of democracy as about the rule of law as well as civic self-government. A dilemma that has emerged in the post-accession period is that of forms of domestic resentment against legal constitutionalism as a constitutional template as well as against a top-down and hierarchical approach of the EU towards democratization and EU accession. In recent times, forms of backlash against legal constitutionalism and judicial supremacy can be observed in the region, in particular in the cases of Hungary and Romania. Such critique of and political action against legal constitutionalism – even if sometimes articulated in terms of the protection of domestic democracy – are not based on a democratic-republican critique of legal constitutionalism and have generally not resulted in attempts to institutionalize more participatory and democratic forms of constitutionalism, quite the contrary.

Chair: Silvia Suteu