Skip to content

Spring 2021 Reading Group

The Death of Constitutional Democracy?

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

This reading group will explore whether the United States and the world are facing an unprecedented democratic recession, a governance crisis, or both. Are some constitutional democracies under existential threat? Are they simply transitioning from one political regime to another? Is authoritarianism, let alone fascism, on the rise as a mode of governance everywhere? What is the place of populism in this picture – can there be a progressive populism or does populism always threaten pluralism and values liberal constitutions hold dear? In addition to engaging with these questions, the reading group’s six sessions will also query whether constitutions and courts can effectively protect polities from democratic decay.

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: 2/3, 2/17, 3/3, 3/24, 4/7, 4/21.