Constitutional Democracies in Crisis? – New Book Features Chapter from Sujit Choudhry

Update–Book ships 8/23/2018

Professor Sujit Choudhry Publishes Chapter in Influential Book on Constitutional Democracy:

Sujit Choudhry is a scholar, educator as well as an internationally renowned intellectual authority in the fields of comparative constitutional law and politics. He is widely published in his field, and his most recent contribution is a chapter in the book Constitutional Democracy in Crisis? that is planned for release to the general public on August 23rd of this year.


Choudhry is both founding director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions as well as an I. Michael Heyman Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. His prior engagements include working as constitutional advisor to emerging democracies across the world, during which he amended existing constitutions and drafted new ones.


The book chapter is Professor Choudhry’s commentary on several intriguing points regarding the current political climate in the nation as he specifically addresses the concern whether the world is facing a serious threat to the protection of constitutional democracy. He joins other scholars in the debate around the meaning of the numerous political events that they feel have caused an overall feeling of concern about the shared global future. He discusses topics such as whether said current events are merely the normal political ebb and flow or are they a more permanent tendency away from constitutional democracy that rose out of the demise of the Soviet Union in 1989.


Along with Choudhry, Constitutional Democracy in Crisis? is a joint effort of several other leading scholars in the field who share their expert critique regarding the crises facing constitutional democracies in the 21st century. These authorities all share one common belief, namely that a diagnosis of the current state of events is of utmost importance. As such they elaborate on the causes that may have led to the present afflictions in regimes, regions as well as across the globe.


According to the publisher, Oxford University Press, “Constitutional Democracy in Crisis? addresses these questions head-on: Are the forces weakening constitutional democracy around the world general or nation-specific? Why have some major democracies seemingly not experienced these problems? How can we as scholars and citizens think clearly about the ideas of “constitutional crisis” or “constitutional degeneration”? What are the impacts of forces such as globalization, immigration, income inequality, populism, nationalism, religious sectarianism?”


Constitutional Democracy in Crisis? is critically acclaimed, having received praise from several experts. Sabino Cassese, Emeritus Justice at the Italian Constitutional Court as well as Emeritus Professor at the University of Rome has called the book a “superb appraisal of democracy’s current crisis” and “a groundbreaking, multiperspective, and transdisciplinary book.” Furthermore, Thurgood Marshall Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Medical School, Vicki C. Jackson, calls the book “an indispensable resource for understanding the rise of illiberal populism and the possibilities for sustaining constitutionalism and democracy” as well as “a set of readable and relatively short chapters that, as much as any edited scholarly collection could be, is a true ‘page-turner,’ hard to stop reading once one starts.” Lastly, the Vice-Chancellor of Ashoka University and the past President of the Centre for Policy Research, Pratap B. Mehta, terms the publication “a landmark book for our troubled times.”


One of the most respected minds in constitutional law recently spoke about a tweet from the former Attorney General of the United States:


“ABSOLUTE RED LINE: The firing of Bob Mueller or crippling the special counsel’s office,” the tweet said. “If removed or meaningfully tampered with, there must be mass, popular, peaceful support of both…[The American people] will ultimately be determinative.”

In Constitutional Democracies in Crisis?, a new anthology consisting of thoughts from leading experts all over the world, Sujit Choudhry dissects the tweet in great detail.

Choudhry describes his opinion that the tweet is built upon two ideas: constitutional symbolism and literal speaking. Eric Holder was either speaking about constitutional boundaries that no one would be able to cross or he was simply saying that the citizens will decide if an action like firing Robert Mueller would stand.

Choudhry calls it “striking that Holder, once the nation’s chief law enforcement official, does not even mention a legal challenge to attempts to obliterate Mueller’s authority.” Eric Holder was the Attorney General, the highest law enforcer in the county, during the Obama Presidency.


About Sujit Choudhry

Choudhry founded the Center for Constitutional Transitions that both generates as well as mobilizes knowledge in the effort of constructing constitutions. To date, the Center has collaborated with over 50 experts from more than 25 countries. Constitutional experts all over the world participate in these research studies that provide evidence for policy options that are offered to those who need them. Many entities take part in these studies, including universities, NGOs, think tanks and multilateral organizations. Through the Center’s partnership with with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, Choudhry co-leads three global collaborative research projects. These include Dealing with Territorial Cleavages in Constitutional Transitions, Security Sector Reform and Constitutional Transitions in Emerging Democracies, and Security Sector Oversight: Protecting Democratic Consolidation from Authoritarian Backsliding and Partisan Abuse. Choudhry is currently also a member of the United Nations Mediation Roster and consultant to the World Bank Institute at the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program.


Choudhry, in addition to being a global influence on comparative constitutional law and politics whose research focus spans across a wide variety of comparative constitutional law and politics issues, has also been a constitutional advisor for over two decades. He is expert in facilitating public dialogue sessions with civil society groups and other stakeholders, leading stakeholder consultations, performing detailed advisory work with technical experts, training civil servants and bureaucrats, engaging party leaders and parliamentarians, and drafting technical reports and memoranda in the field. He combines a wide-ranging research agenda with in-depth field experience as an advisor to constitution building processes, including in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Ukraine and Yemen. He has lectured or spoken in over two dozen countries.


Professor Choudhry has a vast publication record that encompasses over ninety articles, book chapters, several books and working papers and reports. His field engagements include being member of the Executive Committee of the International Society of Public Law, the International Advisory Council of the Institute for Integrated Transitions, the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Journal of Constitutional Law, the Editorial Board of the Constitutional Court Review, the Editorial Advisory Board for the Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law, and is an Honorary Member of the Advisory Council of the Indian Constitutional Law Review. For more information on Sujit Choudhry, please visit, or his LinkedIn, Twitter (@sujit_choudhry), Instagram (@sujitchoudhry) or Facebook (@SujitChoudhryLaw

Connect with Choudhry at

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