Since the campaign, then presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro showed signs of authoritarianism. To list a few, he vowed to shoot opponents, praised dictatorship-era military officials who committed torture, attacked media outlets, etc. Under the criteria proposed by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt in How Democracies Die, he averaged high in all “Four Key Indicators of Authoritarian Behavior.” Nothing has changed since he took the oath of office. He insists on assailing independent coverage (even threatening some media outlets with cuts of official funds), portraits adversaries as enemies, and achieved zero practical results so far. Nevertheless, some are noticing that different actors and institutions started to react forcefully to tentative encroachment on democracy. The paper aims to examine whether the “guardrails of democracy” (unwritten rules of “mutual toleration” and “institutional forbearance”) can survive and what constitutional strategies are available.
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!