Is there such a thing as authoritarian constitutionalism?

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Pisa, Italy: Scuola Superiore Sant’AnnaPopulism, Constitutional Democracy, and the Rule of Law workshop

Professor Gábor Halmai, Chair of Comparative Constitutional Law, and Director of Graduate Studies, European University Institute, Florence is this morning addressing the question Populism or Authoritarianism: is there such a thing as authoritarian constitutionalism?

In his paper, Professor Halmai discusses the rhetoric of authoritarian populists, which makes this type of populism distinct from non-populist authoritarians. He points to various approaches to populism, especially around whether they aim at changing the liberal democratic constitutional system to an authoritarian one.

He also delved into whether the use of legal tools by authoritarian populist, such as to dismantle liberal constitutional democracies, means that we can speak about authoritarian constitutionalism.

Working outwards from the Hungarian experience as a kind of model approach in East-Central Europe, Professor Halmai’s discussion seeks to find potentially joint characteristics of authoritarian populism.