Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the democratic ascendency of the post-Soviet era is under severe challenge. While fragile democracies in Eastern Europe, Africa, and East Asia face renewed threats, the world has witnessed the failed democratic promises of the Arab Spring. What lessons can be drawn from these struggles? What conditions or institutions are needed to prevent the collapse of democracy? This book argues that the most significant antidote to authoritarianism is the presence of strong constitutional courts. Distinct in the third wave of democratization, these courts serve as a bulwark against vulnerability to external threats as well as internal consolidation of power. Particular attention is given to societies riven by deep divisions of race, religion, or national background, for which the courts have become pivotal actors in allowing democracy to take root.
Table Of Contents:
Introduction: the burden of modern democracy; Part I. Militant Democracy: 1. The American paradox; 2. The boundaries of democracy; 3. Types of threats; 4. Responses to antidemocratic threats; 5. Judging militant democracy; Part II. Competitive Democracy: 6. Giving up power; 7. The promise of constitutional democracy; 8. Transition in South Africa; 9. The era of constitutional courts; 10. The constitutional bargain; 11. Can law protect democracy?; 12. Constitutionalism in the time of fragile democracies; Epilogue: democratic objectives.