The art of keeping the people down


THE AUTHORITY: Authoritarian leaders only follow the Constitution as long as they profit from it.

Publisher in Existenz publishing house.
E-mail: lars@existenz.no
Published: September 26, 2020
Authoritarianism. Constitutional theoretical perspectives
Author: Günter Frankenberg
Publisher: Suhrkamp Verlag,, Germany

Authoritarian leaders such as Putin, Maduro, Assad and Orbán attach great importance to complying with the country's constitution. That is why they often change it.

For example, this summer, the Russians voted for a constitutional amendment that would allow Putin to serve as president until 2036. Nicolás Maduro's government in Venezuela relies on the 1999 constitution, which was introduced under his predecessor Hugo Chávez. In 2012, Syria got a new constitution that apparently opened up for democratization of the country, despite the fact that the civil war was already in full swing by then. In 2011, Hungary got a new constitution which states that there is a single Hungarian nation with Christian roots and that is responsible for everyone…

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