This paper discusses the fate of constitutional democracy and constitutional authoritarianism in several East Asian regimes.
This year the Mexican Constitution turns 100 years old. The centenary could make us think that in Mexico we have a strong constitutional culture. However, this assumption is wrong, since the strength of a constitutional culture does not depends on the longevity of the Constitution. Constitutional culture is an open and incomplete project of learning, understanding and interpreting the Constitution by the people in a non-legalistic way . According to this perspective, Mexican constitutional culture is very weak, but it is not a coincidence.
We advance three categories of institutional explanations for the resilience of Canadian constitutional democracy. First, we show that Canada’s choice to chart its own unique course in the debate pitting presidentialism and parliamentarism has borne the fruits of democracy. Second, we demonstrate that Canada’s robust “democracy branch” has been both a source and driver of its democratic resilience. Third, we illustrate how the Supreme Court of Canada has managed to issue highly political and quite controversial decisions without becoming perceived as a partisan institution—making it an overtly political but not politicized institution. The upshot of our inquiry is that constitutional design—and not political culture alone—has been critical in reinforcing the democratic resilience of the Canadian Constitution. We conclude with some long-term challenges that we view as significant, despite Canada’s relatively enviable position among the countries of the world in our day.
The paper argues that this current Hungarian constitutional system was made possible by FIDESZ’ anti-pluralist nationalist populism, and commitment to an ‘illiberal state’. To achieve this aim the populist government misuses the country’s lack of constitutional culture, and violates the values of constitutional democracy in the name of its own understanding of ‘national constitutional identity’.