Comp Const'l Democracy Colloq

The state of constitutional democracy in the United States and throughout the world has become a central topic of discussion in both scholarly and political circles. During the second decade of the twenty-first century, the global momentum toward constitutional democracy stalled and began to reverse. Across the universe of constitutional democracies, such conventional foundations of constitutional democracy as a strong middle class are weakening. Many past models of post-transition constitutional democracies, most notably Hungary and South Africa, are experiencing severe constitutional problems, while ongoing struggles to institute new models of constitutional democracy in the Middle East and North Africa face uncertain futures.

Globalization, the Great Recession, terrorism, and other global phenomena create common afflictions for constitutional democracies around the world. Constitutional democracy has more difficult tasks than at any time in history and the cost of mistakes is higher, potentially catastrophic. For the first time since the Great Depression, when proto-fascist movements gained some traction, if not the Civil War, constitutional democracy in the United States appears to be weakening. This possible global crisis of constitutional democracy has particular implications for American politics as well as politics throughout the world. If almost every constitutional democracy is experiencing increased weakness in democratic forms and practices, then this suggests that many ills afflicting the United States in the second decade of the twentieth century have global as well as domestic roots. At least, this is an important topic for investigation.

This Colloquium, to be co-chaired in its first year by Professors Peter Danchin and Mark Graber, will bring together internationally recognized scholars in comparative constitutional law and Maryland Law faculty and students to discuss and engage with new thinking and scholarship on these critical issues.

Key to Codes in Course Descriptions
P: Prerequisite
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course