School of Law

The deconstitutionalisation of international law in times of populism and pandemic

Via Teams
Friday 19th March 2021 (13:09-14:15)
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Poster for ILA Seminar 19 March 2021

Has the trinity of rule of law, human rights, and democracy been replaced by the ideals of (populist) sovereignty, security, and prosperity? Can and should global constitutionalism be rescued from its neoliberal entrapment?

 International and regional organisations still promote constitutionalist standards in nation states despite backlash and withdrawals. And most of these institutions continue to improve their own working methods in the direction of more inclusion, transparency, and accountability. Also the current pandemic illustrates that we need global constitutionalism. Because no one is safe until everyone is safe, the disease can be overcome only in a globally concerted effort, ideally guided by higher ‘constitutional’ principles.

The programme of global constitutionalism needs to react to the new material conditions of an increased political and economic clout of Asia, the spread of authoritarian governments, the rise of corporate quasi-sovereignty and digital media dominance, the starkly unequal distribution of the fruits of globalisation, and ecological disaster. It also needs to respond to the new ideational climate: anger over globalisation, disillusionment with human rights, the appeal of populism, protectionism and nationalism, and distrust of science and facts.

 In this constellation, global constitutionalism can avoid marching on in a zombie mode only if it critically reviews its colonialist legacy, overcomes Eurocentrism, espouses multiperspectivism, and most of all builds up its fourth pillar: transboundary solidarity and social rights.

 Professor Anne Peters Bio 

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