The Constitutionalism and Politics Working Group was created in September 2017 at the initiative of four researchers from the European University Institute (Elena Brodeală , Théo Fournier, Bartosz Krzysztof Marciniak, Juha Tuovinen). It provides a platform for researchers who are interested in matters related to the (well)functioning of democratic states governed by the rule of law. Whereas politics cannot be exercised without a properly operating institutional and legal framework, such a framework cannot make do without politics. It is this interplay between constitutionalism and politics and possible tensions created thereby that is of particular interest to our working group. The Working Group is devoted particularly to issues related to constitutional backsliding and political crises; constitutional reform and constitutional review; constitutional rights; the functioning of the rule of law: separation of powers in particular and checks and balances in general. Researchers working in areas of constitutional and political theory, legal and political philosophy, as well as history of ideas are particularly welcome.

The Working Group is organized around two main activities. On the one hand, we organize events at the European University Institute which are divided into lectures, book launched, workshops and work-in-progress presentations by PhD researchers. All of them have in common to address a pressing issue that constitutionalism and politics are currently facing. It is also a unique opportunity for researchers from all sides of engaging in a discussion on matters related to the political and legal spheres. Last academic year, our Working Group organized not less than 22 events – almost three events per month –  which are gathered in the menu “events” of this blog.

On the other hand, and because we give a central place to academic creativity, we offer for any researcher interested the opportunity to publish a blog post on a topic relevant to the mandate of the Working Group. During year 2016-2017, 23 blog posts were published on this blog, and lots of them have been re-published in prestigious blogs such as Verfassungsblog. All our blog posts are available in the menu “blog posts”.

Because we consider that academia should stand up and defend liberal democracy, the Working Group’s agenda for the 2016-2017 was a strong emphasis on different constitutional and political issues of Central and Eastern Europe. We were the first to translate and publish a statement by four former presidents of the Polish constitutional court denouncing the ongoing illiberal reforms. We also actively monitored the closure of CEU decided by V. Orban and provided a platform of protestation within the EUI and more broadly within the academic world. We finally organized different events directly related to these issues. No doubt that, considering the current situation, we will continue in this direction for the 2017-2018.