Conference on Constitutions in Authoritarian Regimes: Session I

Constitutions, it is conventionally believed, are institutions that define and limit the boundaries of government.  Yet the formal constitution is an institution adopted by virtually every modern political regime, including many that would appear to have no interest in codifying any form of limitation on government power. We have very little understanding of the logics and dynamics of constitutional design and practice in countries that have “constitutions without constitutionalism”. This conference, held on October 21-22, 2011, explored the roles that constitutions play in authoritarian regimes, drawing on a wide range of cases to try to produce some general conclusions.

Session I

  • Paper: Adam Przeworski, New York University, “Ruling Against Rules”
    • Commentator: Alberto Simpser, University of Chicago
  • Paper: Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School, “Authoritarian Constitutionalism: Some Conceptual Issues”
    • Commentator: Eric Posner, University of Chicago
Participating faculty: 
Eric A. Posner