The last Soviet in Havana: A comparative analysis of Cuba’s 2019 constitution within the Marxist-socialist legal tradition

In April 10 of 2019 the new Cuban constitution came into force after being approved earlier that year in a national referendum by 90.61% of voters. Our research project aims to determine where the 2019 constitution -which replaced the 1976 charter, modeled after the 1936 Soviet Constitution- falls within the Marxist-socialist constitutional tradition. Thus, using an original dataset that includes every constitution that has ever been promulgated by a Marxist-Leninist State, we first aim to determine what are the main features of Marxist-socialist charters and secondly, which of these features are present in the 2019 Cuban document.

A woman’s place is in the resistance: the role of feminism in the radicalization of democracy

The paper’s objective is to verify the possibility of building a radical feminist democratic project. The work assumes liberal democracy as a hegemonic model in modernity to highlight that this model, in turn, has shown itself to be insufficient to encompass the plurality inherent in life in society and guarantee rights to all. Considering the need to extend the basic principles of liberal democracy, namely, freedom and equality, the work starts from a normative premise to demonstrate the potential of the radical democracy model in this sense. Starting from a normative premise of radicalization of democracy, it is intended to demonstrate the contributions of feminist political and democratic theories to this project, as well as the role of minorities, markedly those of gender. It is in view of the need to build a more democratic and less excluding order that it is necessary to move away from essentialist perspectives of democracy and radicalize it.

Political Legitimacy, Models of Constitution Making and Separation of Powers: Toward A Basic Principle

Drawing inspiration from recent political events in Chile, this presentation aims to sketch some typologies of political legitimacy grounded in their reception by constitution-making models. Can political legitimacy theory help us with choices in constitution-making procedures? The question is whether and how the mechanisms to create new constitutions can be ranked by the criteria of different political legitimacy theories. Such analysis will allow for an account of the deeper significance of political legitimacy theories for evaluating different paths of constitution-making. On the basis of a typology of political legitimacy and with emphasis on the importance of inclusive instruments a basic descriptive principle for linking the demands of 21st century legitimacy with procedure is put forward, which states that legitimation hinges on a certain level of respect of separation of powers during constitution-making.

Human Dignity in the Chilean New Constitution

A constitutional assembly will soon write a new constitution. On the streets and at universities, dignity has emerged as a central idea of the ongoing constitutional process. The concept appears already in the first article of the current constitution. Although scholarship and case law have emphasized its crucial role, its dogmatical treatment at the national level has been rather limited. At the international one, dignity is overall present in domestic constitutions and international treaties. In addition, the concept has received a scholarly revival during the last years. However, it is far from being free of criticism. Against this background, this paper intends to, firstly, discuss how the constitutional assembly could process the social demand for dignity besides maintaining the concept in the new constitution. Secondly, how the assembly could benefit from the overwhelming literature and case law on dignity in comparative constitutional law and avoid uncritical legal transplants.

Constitutional design in new democracies.

It is not a simple task to define the elements that must be considerate in a constitution project, especially in complex and asymmetric new democracies. However, there are some aspects that should be observed to deal with problems and overcome obstacles in the constitutional design. Thus, a constitutional project in new democracies does not come just from formal procedural decisions, but rather, should be based on decisions compatible with different conceptions of democracy in a pluralist society. Nonetheless, sometimes, political forces, work from top-down in the constitutional design, to keep some interests, with a lack of normative expectations, that may lead to a backlash from institutional structures. Consequently, the goal of this paper is to support that the constitution must be connected with the community, rewriting the borders of constitutionalism, with a popular-polycentrism in the constitution design, to increase the legitimacy of the charter, sidestepping democratic issues