Academic literature often ascribes to crises the potential of creating so far unavailable political alternatives. What the paper is concerned with is the current approach of public law and courts towards crises in specific policy areas that result from path-dependent institutions. The phenomenon of path dependency has been widely discussed in institutional change literature, where it describes self-reinforcing dynamics of existing institutional arrangements (Pierson, 2004). Higher political costs of fundamental reforms vis-à-vis ‘blame avoidance’ strategies (Weaver, 1986) and more generally, status quo bias of democracy’s short-termism (Boin & Hart, 1996, Rosanvallon, 2011) have also been discussed. In contrast, except for democratic experimentalist tradition, path-dependency has been mostly neglected in constitutional law (Sabel & Simon, 2004) and this is precisely the gap that the paper will address with examples of existing tendencies in apex courts of several jurisdictions.
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!