Sujit Choudhry Discusses Constitutional Democracy

In a world where constitutional idealism has elicited a lot of opinions, Sujit Choudhry sought to address some of the most challenging aspects of constitutionalism. In a recent article, he pointed out that constitutional democrats should have a clear eye when talking about some of the most challenging aspects of constitutional design. According to his, idealism and nihilism should have a middle course, and this depends on the approach that people take when designing these laws. Also to that, the populist challenge that is sweeping across most nations is hindering constitutional design in a big way. Read more related topics here on (


Enhancing constitutional resilience

According to the internationally recognized authority on constitutional law, there must be a way to enhance resilience and a constitution to make it survive. Considering that the populist challenge is attacking the laws, it is important to use the laws to reduce every risk. Although it may not be possible to eliminate all the risks, reducing them is something that is achievable. For instance, people can use the constitution to make decisions difficult. This should be done by introducing delays and roadblocks in the process. This should then be used to create the basis for political mobilization which can then be used to defend constitutional order.

Although the populist challenge on the constitution is rampant, it has been misunderstood. With the democratic backsliding, an autocracy is likely to rise. Every incumbent politician will always want to stay in power. To reduce the risk of losing it, they will want to manipulate the laws, and that is when the main threats arise. They will want to use the laws to suppress the constitution.

A good example is when governments manipulate the electoral system. Usually, they will also shape the laws that govern political financing and formations. In some situation, they will want to restrict certain people from voting and capture the overall electoral institutions.

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The populists

Usually, populists ride on the claim that they are the representatives of the majority. By commanding majority support, they are likely to sway everything in their direction. Even when the conditions of political competition are balanced, they will still have their way. It, however, should not be forgotten that an election is not a Potemkin exercise. They should not be used as a public ritual that is meant to ratify the rule of autocratic elite leaders. The purpose of an election should elect a party that has genuine majority support. The party should also have a deep and broad political appeal. Click law.nyu for more details.

There must be a distinction between populists and autocrats to create constitutional resilience. There should be fundamental guidelines that determine the basic structure of the law. In addition to that, it is essential to protect the underlying structure from the autocrats who threaten it through the power that they yield through appointments. Constitutional stability may also base on the political aspect of governance, and therefore, it is vital to creating institutions that protect the rule of law from any form of manipulation.


About Sujit Choudhry

Sujit Choudhry is a professor of law at the University of California. He has served in similar positions at the New York University and the University of Toronto. Sujit has served I many countries as a constitution building advisor. He studied at Harvard, Toronto and Oxford universities where he got law degrees. He is known for his public lectures where he often talks about the constitution, how to build it, and how to protect it from the threats that it faces. He is also known for his continuous research where he seeks solutions to a wide variety of issues related to the law, politics, constitutional design and the search for peace in areas with conflict.

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