Event Highlights: Constitutionalism in an Age of Populism
On Monday, May 24, we hosted Bojan Bugaric, Professor of Law at Sheffield University and Associate Fellow, SPERI (Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, and Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School, for a virtual presentation of their forthcoming book from Oxford University Press: Power to the People: Constitutionalism in an Age of Populism. Vivien A. Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration at Boston University, and Robert L. Tsai, Professor of Law at Boston University, offered comments. .
Bugaric and Tushnet’s book challenges the notion that populism is ipso facto incompatible with modern liberal democracy. While acknowledging that some variants of populism are indeed incompatible with constitutionalism, they argue that the tension between populism and constitutionalism is narrower than much of the commentary suggests. Their analysis of populism in a variety of contexts reveals there are many populisms, and further, that sometimes populism helps to revivify democracy rather than undermine it.