Illiberal Constitutionalism in Poland and Hungary : The Deterioration of Democracy, Misuse of Human Rights and Abuse of the Rule of Law book cover
1st Edition

Illiberal Constitutionalism in Poland and Hungary
The Deterioration of Democracy, Misuse of Human Rights and Abuse of the Rule of Law

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ISBN 9781032007304
September 2, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
280 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book theorizes illiberal constitutionalism by interrogation of the Rule of Law, democratic deterioration, and the misuse of the language and relativization of human rights protection, and its widespread emotional and value-oriented effect on the population.

The work consists of seven Parts. Part I outlines the volume’s ambitions and provides an introduction. Part II discusses the theoretical framework and clarifies the terminology adopted in the book. Part III provides an in-depth insight into the constitutional identity of Poles and Hungarians and argues that an unbalanced constitutional identity has been moulded throughout Polish and Hungarian history in which emotional traits of collective victimhood and collective narcissism, and a longing for a charismatic leader have been evident. Part IV focuses on the emergence of illiberal constitutionalism, and, based on both quantitative and qualitative analyses, argues that illiberal constitutionalism is neither modern authoritarianism nor authoritarian constitutionalism. This Part contextualizes the issue by putting the deterioration of the Rule of Law into a European perspective. Part V explores the legal nature of illiberal legality when it is at odds and in compliance with the European Rule of Law, illiberal democracy, focusing on electoral democracy and legislative processes, and illiberalization of human rights. Part VI investigates whether there is a clear pattern in the methods of remodeling, or distancing from constitutional democracy, how it started, consolidated, and how its results are maintained. The final part presents the author’s conclusions and looks to the future.

The book will be an invaluable resource for scholars, academics and policy-makers interested in Constitutional Law and Politics.

Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction - Ambitions and Comparison

I. Ambitions

II. Why Hungary and Poland

III. Insight into the book  

Part II. Terms - Constitutionalism, illiberal(ism), and constitutional democracy

I. Constitutionalism in the term "illiberal constitutionalism"

II. Illiberal(ism)

III. Constitutional democracy

Part III. Identity - Unbalanced constitutional identity: emotions and values

I. Historical and emotional trajectory

II. Post-communist past and beyond

III. Possible root cause: the combination of the above

Part IV. Limits - Comparative perspective

I. The Emergence of llliberal Constitutionalism

II. A comparative perspective – looking for constraints

III. Contextualization: the European Rule of Law as a constraint on public power 

Part V. Limits - Constraints in constitutional design and identity

I. Illiberal legality

II. Illiberal Democracy  

III. Illiberalization of Human Rights

Part VI. Stability - How "illiberal limits" emerge and work

I. Capturing constitutions and constitutionalism, and creating invisible constitution

II. Illiberal judicialization of politics  

III. Pushing the limits and bouncing back

IV. Defeating exit strategies from the hollowed-out constitutional democracy

Part VI. Conclusion

1. Constitutionalism does not necessarily have to be liberal

2. Illiberal constitutionalism is a deterioration from liberal constitutionalism towards authoritarianism but has not reached that point yet

3. In an illiberal constitutional identity, the liberal and non-liberal or illiberal value orientation of the population can intermittently prevail

4. Illiberal constitutionalism is a coherent theory in its illiberal and weakly constrained manner

5. Lessons learned, mostly, for others ...


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Tímea Drinóczi is Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law at Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, a Professor within the Department of Constitutional Law at the University of Pécs, Faculty of Law, in Hungary. Since 2017, she has also been a Doctor of the Academy of Sciences of Hungary. Professor Drinóczi has been a visiting professor in law schools in Plzen, Brno, Cologne, Graz, Istanbul, and Osijek, and has presented papers at several conferences all over Europe, in Hong Kong, Nanjing, Seoul, and Santiago. She served as a professor at the Kenyatta University School of Law in 2018 and 2019.

Agnieszka Bień-Kacała is Professor within the Department of Constitutional Law, Faculty of Law and Administration at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland. Professor Bień-Kacała has been a visiting professor in law schools in Athens, Prague, and Maastricht. Together, Professors Drinóczi and Bień-Kacała have presented papers at several conferences all over Europe, and in Hong Kong and Santiago de Chile.