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Ruling by Cheating
Governance in Illiberal Democracy

$34.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law

  • Date Published: August 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108948630

$ 34.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • There is widespread agreement that democracy today faces unprecedented challenges. Populism has pushed governments in new and surprising constitutional directions. Analysing the constitutional system of illiberal democracies (from Venezuela to Poland) and illiberal phenomena in 'mature democracies' that are justified in the name of 'the will of the people', this book explains that this drift to mild despotism is not authoritarianism, but an abuse of constitutionalism. Illiberal governments claim that they are as democratic and constitutional as any other. They also claim that they are more popular and therefore more genuine because their rule is based on conservative, plebeian and 'patriotic' constitutional and rule of law values rather than the values liberals espouse. However, this book shows that these claims are deeply deceptive - an abuse of constitutionalism and the rule of law, not a different conception of these ideas.

    • Explains the role of law in victorious populism
    • Exposes the shortcomings of the democratic constitutional system that allow populism to flourish
    • Contributes to the ongoing rule of law debate in the European Union
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'András Sajó is one of Europe’s great defenders of human rights and democracy and one of its finest constitutional scholars. This book is an unparalleled anatomy of illiberal democracy, and its message is vitally important: all democracies, including ones that think they are immune, remain vulnerable to the corruption, institutional capture and authoritarian temptations of the illiberal form. An essential book for 2022.' Michael Ignatieff, Rector Emeritus Central European University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2021
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108948630
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.493kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Placing illiberal democracy: Caesarism, totalitarian democracy and unfinished constitutionalism
    2. The emergence of the illiberal state
    3. Creating dependence
    4. They, the people
    5. Constitutional structure
    6. The fate of Human Rights
    7. Profiting from the rule of law
    8. Cheating: The legal secret of illiberal democracy

  • Author

    András Sajó, Central European University, Budapest
    András Sajó is a University Professor at Central European University and a Former Vice-President-Judge at the European Court of Human Rights. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from the European University Institute and Visiting Professorships at Cardozo Law School, University of Chicago Law School, NYU Law School and Harvard Law School. His recent publications include Constitutional Sentiments (2011) and, with R. Uitz, The Constitution of Freedom (2017).

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