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Populist Constitutionalism and Illiberal Democracies

Between Constitutional Imagination, Normative Entrenchment and Political Reality

Book | 1st edition 2021 | United Kingdom | Martin Belov

This book is a topical study of populist constitutionalism and illiberal democracies, exploring their roots in constitutional imagination as well as their normative entrenchment and performance in political reality. It provides insightful analysis of republican constitutionalism, focusing on the role of people in radical democracy and revolutionary constitutional reform. Furthermore, the outlook, adequacy and performance of constitutional principles in times of democratic ruptures are assessed. The contributors examine the rise of populist constitutionalism and the main trends that have led to the current, ongoing crises in liberal democracy. The book includes original analyses of populist constitutionalism from the viewpoint of emotions and constitutional imagination, as well as a special chapter devoted to the challenges posed to constitutional democracy by COVID-19. Combining theoretical contributions, comparative typologies and important case studies, the spread of populism and illiberal democracy in Europe is critically explored.

Populist Constitutionalism and Illiberal Democracies is a timely contribution to the lively discussion surrounding constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, comparative constitutionalism and political science regarding the rise and spread of illiberal democracies, authoritarian political regimes and revolutionary, radical democratic and populist constitutionalism.

With contributions by Martin Belov (University of Sofia ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’), Agnieszka Bień-Kacała (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń), Paul Blokker (University of Bologna), Monica Bonini (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca), Carlo Alberto Ciaralli (University ‘G. d’Annunzio’ of Chieti-Pescara), Eoin Daly (National University of Ireland), Gianmario Demuro (University of Cagliari), Tímea Drinóczi (University of Pécs), Wojciech Engelking (University of Warsaw), Angela Di Gregorio (University of Milano), Marcin Kilanowski (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń), Zoltán Pozsár-Szentmiklósy (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University), Przemyslaw Tacik (Jagiellonian University of Kraków), Anna Tarnowska (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń), Zoltan J. Toth (Károli Gáspár University), Julia Wesołowska (Jagiellonian University of Kraków) and Wojciech Włoch (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń).


PROF. DR. MARTIN BELOV is a Professor of Constitutional and Comparative Constitutional Law and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Sofia 'St. Kliment Ohridski', Bulgaria. He has been a visiting professor at many European universities (most recently Paris II Pantheon-Assas, France, Roma Tre, Italy, and Goethe-University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany), a project researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2010-2012) and a visiting researcher at the Institute for Federalism, Fribourg, Switzerland (2014). He has published 18 books and more than 80 scientific papers.

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Hardback
EAN / ISSN 9781839700606 / 9781839701399
Weight 700 g
Status Available
Number of pages xviii + 380 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date Feb 19, 2021
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of Contents and Preliminary Pages
    Martin Belov
  • Introduction
    Martin Belov
  • PART I. Republican Constitutionalism: The Role of People in Radical Democracy
  • The People and the Lawgiver in Political Foundings
    Eoin Daly
  • Radical Democracy and Revolutionary Reform: Looking for Solutions in Times of Democratic Disruption
    Marcin Kilanowski
  • PART II. Reassessing Constitutional Principles in Times of Democratic Ruptures
  • The Invisible Separation of Powers and the Control of the Central Political Power: Lessons from Hungary, Moldova and Romania
    Pozsár-Szentmiklósy Zoltán
  • Rule of Law vs. Democracy: With Special Regard to the Case of Hungary
    Zoltan J. Toth
  • PART III. Populist Constitutionalism: Democracy in Crisis
  • The Degeneration of Contemporary Democracies as a New Phenomenology of Constitutional Transition
    Angela Di Gregorio
  • Between Law and Revolution: Is Populism Constitutional?
    Gianmario Demuro
  • European Constitutional Order and Populist Legal Revolution:A Challenge for Western Liberal Democracies
    Carlo Alberto Ciaralli
  • PART IV. Populist Constitutionalism from the Viewpoint of Emotions and Constitutional Imagination
  • Populism, Constituent Power and Constitutional Imagination
    Paul Blokker
  • Law and Emotions: Insights for the Study of Anti-Constitutional Populism
    Julia Wesolowska
  • PART V. Challenges to Constitutional Democracy in Times of Covid-19 Constitutionalism and Beyond
  • The Role of Fear Politics in Global Constitutional ‘Ernstfall’: Images of Fear under COVID-19 Health Paternalism
    Martin Belov
  • Democracy and Human Rights in Illiberal Constitutionalism
    Timea Drinoczi, Agnieszka Bien-Kacala
  • PART VI. The Spread of Populism and Illiberal Democracy in Europe
  • Law, Revolution and Populism in Italy: The Path from Constitutional Resentment to Constitutional Renaissance
    Monica Bonini
  • Polish Constitutionalism under Populist Rule: A Revolution without a Revolution
    Przemyslaw Tacik
  • Representative Democracy in the Times of Populism: The Case of the Polish Parliament as a Delegated Power
    Agnieszka Bien-Kacala, Anna Tarnowska, Wojciech Wloch
  • The Roots and Guises of Legal Populism in Russia: The Narodniki, Statism and Legalism of Soviet Law and the Political Theology of Ivan Ilyin
    Wojciech Engelking