Authoritarian Populism and Constitutional Design
This panel address the questions of whether and how constitutional, institutional, and democratic design is relevant to the task of countering authoritarian populism. It explores the possibilities and limits of “institutional self-defense“ within democratic constitutional design by asking both whether there were significant vulnerabilities in countries like Poland that have succumbed to authoritarian populism and what we can learn from recent cases of “near misses,“ in which democracy survives such a threat. A range of different design principles are proposed and considered in terms of their capacity to help protect constitutional democracy. At the same time, in either acknowledging or emphasizing the limits of constitutional design, panelists will also discuss the other components of a comprehensive strategy for preventing or resisting democratic backsliding or retrenchment.