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The Challenge of Institutionalisation: Post-Communist ‘Transitions’, Populism, and the Rule of Law

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2019

Abstract

Institutionalisation – Populism – Rule of law – Poland – Hungary – Post-communist reformers more given to emulation, adoption and installation, than institutionalisation – Institutionalised traditions as resources and sources of recalcitrance – New populists as institutionalisers of anti-rule of law values, de-institutionalisers of independent institutions – ‘Abusive constitutionalists’, who erode and subvert the kinds of institutionalisation necessary to temper power

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© 2019 The Authors 

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Footnotes

*

Gordon Samuels Professor of Law and Social Theory, University of New South Wales; Honorary Professor RegNet, ANU. This article has endured many iterations. Earlier versions were presented at a conference on How to Resolve the Crisis of Constitutional Democracy in Central Europe? 9-10 December 2016, Graduate School of Government and European Studies, Ljubljana, Slovenia; to a workshop on Constitutionalism in Popular Democracy. Constitutional Techniques in the Early Days of Populist Rule and Refurbished National Sovereignty, 26 May, Central European University, Budapest, and to the XXVII World Congress of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, Lisbon, Portugal 17-21 June 2017, as a signature lecture to the Transnational Legal Institute, King’s College, London, 17 November 2017, to a conference on ‘disenchantments with democracy’, Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, Geneva, 7-9 December 2017; and a workshop on New constitutionalism? New forms of democracy and rule of law beyond liberalism, Onati International Institute for the Sociology of Law, 12-13 July 2018. I am grateful to participants for their comments. I am also grateful for the thoughtful comments Eva Pils and Bojan Bugarič sent me, and to the three anonymous reviewers. The article was finally revised when I was a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, March–July 2019.

References

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8 See Castillo-Ortiz, P, ‘The Illiberal Abuse of Constitutional Courts in Europe’, 15 EuConst (2019) p. 48 Google Scholar, and for a comprehensive account of the Polish assault on constitutionalism, see Sadurski, W, Poland’s Constitutional Breakdown (Oxford University Press 2019 CrossRefGoogle Scholar) and 〈www.rpo.gov.pl/pl/content/informacja-o-dzialalnosci-rzecznika-praw-obywatelskich-oraz-o-stanie-przestrzegania-wolnosci-i-praw〉, visited 12 August 2019.

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30 Hartley, L.P., The Go-Between (first published Hamish Hamilton 1953; New York Review Books Classic 2002) p. 17 Google Scholar.

31 Faulkner, W., Requiem for a Nun (Penguin Books 1960) p. 81 Google Scholar.

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35 Szacki, J., Liberalism after Communism (Central European Press 1995) p. 52 Google Scholar.

36 Szacki, supra n. 35, p. 59.

37 Szacki, supra n. 35, p. 58.

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41 Szacki, supra n. 35, p. 203, and see Skąpska, supra n. 38, p. 107.

42 See Krygier, M. and Czarnota, A., ‘After Postcommunism. The Next Phase’, 2 Annual Review of Law and Social Science (2006) p. 299 at p. 300–304 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

43 See Kurkchiyan, M., ‘The Illegitimacy of Law in Post-Communist Societies’, in Galligan, B. and Kurkchiyan, M. (eds.), Law and Informal Practices. The Post-Communist Experience (Oxford University Press 2003) p. 25 Google Scholar.

44 See for example Gray, J., ‘From Post-Communism to Civil Society: The Reemergence of the Western Model10(2) Social Philosophy and Policy (1993) p. 26 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

45 Notes of interview on file with the author.

46 Krygier, M., ‘Introduction’, in Sadurski, W. et al. (eds.), Spreading Democracy and the Rule of Law? The Impact of EU Enlargement on the Rule of Law, Democracy and Constitutionalism in Post-Communist Europe (Springer Verlag 2006) p. 13 Google Scholar.

47 See in particular the articles by Blokker, Corso, and Kosař et al.

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49 Skąpska, supra n. 38, p. 80.

50 Skąpska, supra n. 38, p. 66.

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53 See Bugarič, B., ‘Could Populism be Good for Constitutional Democracy?’, Annual Review of Law and Social Science (forthcoming)Google Scholar; Fontana, D., ‘Unbundling Populism’, 65 UCLA Law Review (2018) p. 1482 Google Scholar.

54 R. Matyja, ‘Wrogowie ludu’, Tygodnik Powszechny (Kracow, 30 July 2017) 20, quoted in Sadurski, supra n. 8, p. 163.

55 Landau, D., ‘Abusive Constitutionalism’, 47 University of California, Davis, Law Review (2013) p. 189 Google Scholar; Varol, O.O., ‘Stealth Authoritarianism’, 100 Iowa Law Review (2015) p. 1673 Google Scholar; Scheppele, K.L., ‘Constitutional Coups in EU Law’, in Adams, M. et al. (eds.), Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law: Bridging Idealism and Realism (Cambridge University Press 2017) p. 446 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Scheppele, K.L., ‘Autocratic Legalism’, University of Chicago Law Review (2019) p. 545 Google Scholar; Skąpska, supra n. 4, p. 140.

56 Sheppele, supra n. 52.

57 G Skąpska, ‘Znieważający konstytucjonalizm i konstytucjonalizm znieważony. Refleksja socjologiczna na temat kryzysu liberalno-demokratycznego konstytucjonalizmu w Europie pokomunistycznej’, Tom 7, Numer 1, Art. #12 Filozofia Publiczna i Edukacja Demokratyczna (2018) p. 276.

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59 See e.g. Krygier, M., ‘Four Puzzles about the Rule of Law: Why, What, Where? And Who Cares?’, in Fleming, J.E. (ed.), Getting to the Rule of Law Nomos no. 50 (New York University Press 2011) p. 64 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Krygier, M., ‘The Rule of Law. Pasts, Present and two possible futures’, 12 Annual Review of Law and Social Science (2016) p. 199 CrossRefGoogle Scholar, and Krygier, M., ‘What’s the Point of the Rule of Law’, Buffalo Law Review Google Scholar (forthcoming special issue on ‘tempering power’).

60 Lenin, V.I., ‘The Proletarian Revolution and Renegade Kautsky’ (1918) in Selected Works, vol. II (Foreign Languages Publishing House 1951) p. 41 Google Scholar.

61 Krygier, supra n. 3.

62 Not the only approaches by the way. See works by Golub, S, ‘A House Without Foundations’, in Carothers, T. (ed.), Promoting the Rule of Law Abroad (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2006) p. 105 Google Scholar; Kleinfeld, R., Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad (Carnegie Endowment 2012)Google Scholar; Carothers, T. and De Gramont, D. (eds.), Development Aid Confronts Politics, The Almost Revolution (Carnegie Endowment, 2013 Google Scholar).

63 Scheppele, K.L., ‘Worst Practices in the Transnational Legal Order’, in Ginsburg, T. et al. (eds), Constitution-Making as Transnational Legal Practice (Cambridge University Press Google Scholar forthcoming).

64 This is a central theme of Cheesman’s, Nick Opposing the Rule of Law. How Myanmar’s Courts make Law and Order (Cambridge University Press 2012)Google Scholar. See symposium on this book in 9(1) Hague Journal on the Rule of Law (2017).

65 I am indebted to Karol Muszynski, both for access to such materials and to his unpublished paper, ‘Socjologia prawa a kryzys konstytucyjny w Polsce. Między „imposybilistycznymi” rządami prawa a „silnym” systemem politycznym’ (copy on file with the author).

66 ‘Czy Polska jest państwem prawa?’ Wykład na Uniwersytecie Jagiellońskim Presje Teka XXIV Klubu Jagiellońskiego (2011) pp. 223-224.

67 Supra n. 67.

68 Supra n. 67, p. 227.

69 PiS Program 2011 r. Nowoczesna, Solidarna, Bezpieczna Polska, Warsaw 2011, 17, quoted in Muszynski, ‘Socjologia prawa a kryzys konstytucyjny w Polsce’, 5.

70 Supra n. 67, p. 227.

71 ‘Kaczyński Announces Aim to Change Polish Constitution’, Radio Poland, 2 May 2016, cited in Bugarič, ‘Populists at the Gates’, p. 7.

72 See ‘Kaczyński straszy: Oni chcą zlikwidować Polskę’ Gazeta Wyborcza, 17 June 2019.

73 See K. Mazur, ‘Jarosław Kaczyński – ostatni rewolucjonista III RP’, 18 January 2016, 〈klubjagiellonski.pl/2016/01/18/jaroslaw-kaczynski-ostatni-rewolucjonista-iii-rp/〉, visited 12 August 2019.

74 Bunikowski, D., ‘The Constitutional Crisis in Poland, Schmittian Questions, and Kaczyński’s Political and Legal Philosophy’, 26 Journal of Contemporary European Studies (2018) p. 1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 〈www.tandfonline.com/action/showAxaArticles?journalCode=cjea20〉, visited 12 August 2019.

75 Schmitt, C., The Concept of the Political, trans. George Schwab (University of Chicago Press 1996) p. 32 Google Scholar.

76 See Krygier, supra n. 59.

77 G. Skąpska, ‘Znieważający konstytucjonalizm i konstytucjonalizm znieważony. Refleksja socjologiczna na temat kryzysu liberalno-demokratycznego konstytucjonalizmu w Europie pokomunistycznej’, Tom 7, Numer 1, Art. #12 Filozofia Publiczna i Edukacja Demokratyczna (2018) p. 276.

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