In this thought-provoking book, Günter Frankenberg explores why authoritarian leaders create new constitutions, or revise old ones. Through a profound analysis of authoritarian constitutions as phenomena in their own right, Frankenberg reveals their purposes, the audiences they seek to address and investigates the ways in which they fit into the broader context of autocracies.
The contributions to this book analyse and submit to critique authoritarian constitutionalism as an important phenomenon in its own right, not merely as a deviant of liberal constitutionalism. Accordingly, the fourteen studies cover a variety of authoritarian regimes from Hungary to Apartheid South Africa, from China to Venezuela; from Syria to Argentina, and discuss the renaissance of authoritarian agendas and movements, such as populism, Trumpism, nationalism and xenophobia. From different theoretical perspectives the authors elucidate how authoritarian power is constituted, exercised and transferred in the different configurations of popular participation, economic imperatives, and imaginary community.