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Prof. Victor Menaldo: How flawed constitutions undermine democracy

Submitted by David H Bui on February 26, 2018 - 3:27pm
Victor Menaldo
Prof. Victor Menaldo

In an article by Michael Albertus and Victor Menaldo, describe how flawed constitutions undermine democracy. In the Ukraine, Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Venezuela these states are sliding into authoritarianism, while the United States under Trump has been attacking media and intelligence institutions. In Egpyt and Russia they have been silencing opposition, with the assurance that the state department will write mild rebuke. And more alarmingly more Americans support, a military takeover of the government

According to Albertus and Menaldo, democracies slip into authoritarianism once informal institutional norms erode. These norms dictate policies and conduct of these leaders and restrain them to act more democratically. In addition democracies often fall into authoritarianism when they inherit a constitution from a previously authoritarian predecessor. These constitutions shield the leadership preventing accountability and changing these constitutions are very hard to achieve.

In other cases, the leadership re-writes their own constitution to their own benefit. Examples being Turkey and Hungary, in which shielded leadership and allow them to punish their opposition. Once re-written these leaders then consolidated power, and jail or purge their opposition.

To read the full article click here.

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