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Contemporary discussions of populism elide important distinctions between the ways in which populist leaders and movements respond to the failures of elites to follow through on the promises associated with international social welfare constitutionalism. After laying out the political economy of populisms’ origins, this Article describes the relation between populisms and varieties of liberalism, and specifically the relation between populisms and judicial independence understood as a “veto point” occupied by the elites that populists challenge. It then distinguishes left-wing populisms’ acceptance of the social welfare commitments of late twentieth century liberalism and its rejection of some settled constitutional arrangements that, in populists’ views, obstruct the accomplishment of those commitments. It concludes with a description of the core ethnonationalism of right-wing populism, which sometimes contingently appears in left-wing populisms but is not one the latter’s core components.
An international consensus on the content of domestic constitutional law has structural ‘rights’-related components. The former requires roughly democratic systems for choosing representatives/executives. The consensus favours some forms of judicialised constitutional review, though the precise form is open to choice. The rights component includes a standard list of ‘core’ civil rights, including in this category equality along a number of dimensions – though not class or income. The rights-component is fundamentally neo-liberal. This is clearest in connection with ‘second generation’ social and economic rights, which – the consensus holds – can be recognised in a constitution but should not be vigorously enforceable (in systems where there is judicial enforcement of constitutional rights). The rights of free expression and political association must be specified in ways that allow political challenges to be mounted against efforts – including legislative programmes of political parties that control governments – to resist the neo-liberal policy agenda. Departures from this consensus are described as departures, not from ‘neo-liberal’ or even ‘liberal’ constitutionalism, but as departures from constitutionalism as such. We could ‘thin down’ the idea of constitutionalism quite a bit without abandoning constitutionalism’s core commitment to avoiding arbitrary government action.
Suppose Charles Reich had typed “The New Citizenship” on the first page of his article. He might have rediscovered republicanism a generation earlier than the neo-republicans of the 1980s. Perhaps he might even have understood that a right to some minimum of property, sufficient to guarantee the independence essential to the exercise of citizenship rights, could be derived from concepts of republican citizenship.
With contributions from leading scholars in constitutional law, this volume examines how carefully designed and limited doctrines of proportionality can improve judicial decision-making, how it is applied in different jurisdictions, its role on constitutionalism outside the courts, and whether the principle of proportionality actually advances or detracts from democracy. Contributions from some of the seminal thinkers on the development of scholarship on proportionality (e.g. Alexy, Barak, and Beatty) extend their prior work and engage in an important dialogue on the topic. Some offer substantial critiques, others defend the doctrine and offer important clarifications and extensions of their prior work. Throughout, the authors engage not only with case law from around the world but also with existing scholarly treatments of the subject. Mathematical treatments are avoided, making the book accessible to readers from both 'soft' and hard' social science backgrounds.