This paper argues that among the most consequential institutional variables affecting how constitutional orders operate are two relating to political parties. The first is the nature of the political party system (multiparty, two party, dominant party), which influences the actual separation of powers regardless of the form of government enshrined in the constitution. The second is the method political parties use to choose their candidates for chief executive in a general election. This helps to determine how easy or difficult it is for an “outsider” candidate posing a risk to the values of constitutional democracy to capture a major party and smooth a path to power. And yet, despite the importance of political parties to the constitutional order in these and other ways, they are rarely viewed as proper subjects for constitutional design. Although perhaps understandable from a historical perspective, this is mostly mistaken from a contemporary functional one.
Our 2020 Annual Conference was scheduled to be held at the University of Wrocław in Poland on July 9-11, 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICON·S Executive Committee has decided to postpone our 2020 Conference to 2021. Our next Annual Conference will take place from July 8-10, 2021, in Wrocław, Poland.
Procedural details regarding the organization of the 2021 Conference will follow in the months ahead.Join ICON•S