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Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the democratic ascendency of the post-Soviet era is under severe challenge. While fragile democracies in Eastern Europe, Africa, and East Asia face renewed threats, the world has witnessed the failed democratic promises of the Arab Spring. What lessons can be drawn from these struggles? What conditions or institutions are needed to prevent the collapse of democracy? This book argues that the most significant antidote to authoritarianism is the presence of strong constitutional courts. Distinct in the third wave of democratization, these courts serve as a bulwark against vulnerability to external threats as well as internal consolidation of power. Particular attention is given to societies riven by deep divisions of race, religion, or national background, for which the courts have become pivotal actors in allowing democracy to take root.Read more
- Focuses on the often-overlooked role of constitutional courts in transitional democracies
- Identifies the numerous challenges to democracies emerging from authoritarian rule, particularly in the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe
- Broad international focus investigates courts in Argentina, Albania, India, Israel, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States, among many others
Reviews & endorsements
"Samuel Issacharoff's new book is a major contribution to a burgeoning literature on the ways in which courts can protect and improve what the author calls "fragile democracies" … an ambitious and wide-ranging achievement, and one that will guide the direction of work on judicial role in non-consolidated democracies for years to come."
David E. Landau, International Journal of Constitutional Law
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- Date Published: June 2015
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107654549
- length: 312 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.39kg
- contains: 1 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: the burden of modern democracy
Part I. Militant Democracy:
1. The American paradox
2. The boundaries of democracy
3. Types of threats
4. Responses to antidemocratic threats
5. Judging militant democracy
Part II. Competitive Democracy:
6. Giving up power
7. The promise of constitutional democracy
8. Transition in South Africa
9. The era of constitutional courts
10. The constitutional bargain
11. Can law protect democracy?
12. Constitutionalism in the time of fragile democracies
Epilogue: democratic objectives.
Professor Samuel Issacharoff on what inspired him to write, courtesy of NYU School of Law
Professor Samuel Issacharoff discusses "Fragile Democracies”, courtesy of NYU School of Law
Professor Samuel Issacharoff on South Africa as an example of fragile democracy, courtesy of NYU School of Law
Professor Samuel Issacharoff on the Arab Spring and his book, "Fragile Democracies”, courtesy of NYU School of Law
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