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In the Ruins of Constitutional Government
October 26, 2018 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Midwest Law and Society Retreat Keynote Speaker
University Lecture by Kim Lane Scheppele
Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs
Woodrow Wilson School
University Center for Human Values
Around the world, democratic citizenries are electing leaders who proceed to dismantle previously existing constitutional constraints on the power of the executive. From Hungary and Poland, to Venezuela and Ecuador, to Turkey and Russia, and perhaps even to the United States, democratically elected leaders are eschewing checks and balances and rejecting independent judiciaries, media and civil society. These new autocratic leaders appear wildly popular and are often reelected. Why have democratically elected leaders with autocratic aspirations appeared across such a wide array of democratic governments at once? How have they undermined constitutional government and yet claimed democratic legitimacy? And what can be done to restore the promise of constitutionalism?