Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Huq, "How to Save a Constitutional Democracy"

According to a recent book by Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Z. Huq, How to Save a Constitutional Democracy (University of Chicago Press, 2018), we can no longer afford to be complacent about democracy in the United States. Drawing on a rich array of other countries’ experiences with democratic backsliding, the authors mount an urgent argument to show how constitutional rules can either hinder or hasten the decline of democratic institutions. The checks and balances of the federal government, a robust civil society and media, and individual rights—such as those enshrined in the First Amendment—do not necessarily succeed as bulwarks against democratic decline. Rather, the Constitution’s design may make democratic erosion more likely. But we—and the rest of the world—can do better. Join Ginsburg and Huq to explore practical steps for how laws and constitutional design can play a more positive role in managing the risk of democratic decline.

This Harper Lecture was delivered on October 10, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois.