Neoliberalism as a Form of Authoritarian Constitutionalism

This chapter proposes to include in the term Authoritarian Constitutionalism the set of provisions that fix neoliberal orthodoxy as the only policy choice available to public officials. It opposes the justification that economic policy should be protected from political deliberation and argues that constitutionally enshrining the agenda of fiscal austerity, free trade, export led growth and the protection of foreign investment is a form of authoritarianism. Authoritarian liberalism captures the combination of politically authoritarian forms of governing in defense and pursuit of economically liberal ends. It is a phenomenon often associated with periods of economic crisis, such as the recent Euro-crisis. This chapter suggests, however, that authoritarian liberalism is less exceptional than normal. The two texts provide examples from the Latin American and European contexts.