Constitutional and Populist Mind

The presentation presents the results of research conducted within the project “Legal Epistemic Authority in Poland” and fits into the framework of cognitive constitutionalism. The qualitative interviews with former judges of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal will be analysed in terms of the basic cognitive categories they used in their everyday work. Combining the work of a judge with the position of an academic professor, which is present in the narratives of the interviewed judges, resulted in perceiving judicial activity as similar to that of an academic. This determined the concept of constitution, which was seen as a research object that was treated as external and intellectual. In contrast, the concept of constitution present in populist narratives is treated as a relational political object and embodied in institutional practices and group interests. Paper intends to demonstrate the dynamic relationships and mutual influences that can be found by comparing these concepts.