Abusive Constitutional Borrowing

Some of the most important hallmarks of liberal democratic constitutionalism – including constitutional rights, judicial review, and constituent power –can be turned into powerful instruments to demolish rather than defend democracy. The book offers examples a wealth of examples, selected both to shed new light on well-known cases such as Hungary, Poland, and Venezuela, as well as to expand discussions by considering contexts such as Cambodia, Rwanda, and Fiji. It also discusses the implications of the phenomenon of abusive constitutional borrowing for those who study and promote liberal democracy and related fields like human rights. It suggests ways in which the construction of norms might be improved to protect against abuse, as well as ways in which monitoring might be more attuned to the threat. Most ambitiously, it suggests recasting debates about liberal democracy to emphasize contestation, rather than mimicry.