Brazil is a useful case-study in the use, and limits, of the term ‘populism’, and the different ways in which the ‘p’ word is said to influence or threaten liberal democratic constitutionalism. Over a decade of what was often termed left-wing populist governance, under Presidents Lula and Dilma, is viewed in some quarters as having produced not only a revenge of the élites in the “abusive impeachment” of Dilma Rousseff, but also a wider right-wing populism whose Trump-like figurehead, Jair Bolsonaro. Populism as a term does have some utility in the attempt to capture the growing strength of a particular technology of political messaging and governance in Brazil and to compare these developments with so-called populist constitutionalism elsewhere. However, the Brazilian context also highlights the dangers associated with the populism tag, and whether the term ‘populist constitutionalism’ can work as anything more than a broad rubric.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. We will be announcing more details about the conference soon, including financial support to early career and global south scholars!