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Photo: “Budapest: Hungarian Parliament“, by Jorge Franganillo licensed under CC BY 2.0. Hue modified from the original.

Mayr, Stefan, Orator, Andreas. Populism, Popular Sovereignty, and Public Reason, (Berlin, Germany: Peter Lang Verlag, 2021).


In many parts of today’s world, populist politics increasingly challenge traditional constitutionalist conceptions. The present volume provides a variety of perspectives on democratic decay and the erosion of the rule of law, on the re-emergence of popular sovereignty as a political category, and on public reason in an age of ‘post-truthism’, focusing on the CEE region and South Eastern Europe. With each contribution approaching the subject from its individual angle and having its original ‘tone’, the volume combines theoretical insights and in-depth analyses of current developments in selected polities.

Table of Contents:

  • Part I: Theoretical Insights
  • Populism, Popular Sovereignty, and Public Reason: Introductory Remarks (Stefan Mayr & Andreas Orator)
  • Unwelcome Excess of the Law: On the Critique of Populist Constitutionalism (Przemysław Tacik)
  • New Facets of the Dual State: A Comparative Analysis (Aydin Atilgan)
  • ‘And you?’ The Interaction between Theatre and Society in the Contemporary Democratic Discourse (Katinka Tóth)
  • A People’s Tribunate in a Populist Democracy? A Thought Experiment between Republicanism and Populism Revisited (Philip Dingeldey)
  • The Social Costs of Populist Sovereignty (Laura Gheorghiu)
  • Part II: Judicial Politics
  • A Guideline for the Courts under Pressure: Pluralist Judicial Review (Gürkan Çapar)
  • Emotional Politics and Emotional Courts? A Theoretical Framework for the Analysis of Judicial Emotions in Populist Regimes (Áron Fábián)
  • Three Novelties of the Hungarian Constitutional System: Valuable Experience for all Central-European Countries (Evelin Burján & Boldizsár Szentgáli-Tóth)
  • Part III: Polities
  • Shaping the Echo: Populism, Post-truth, and Voter Mobilization – The Case of Serbia (Milica Kulić & Bojan Vranić)
  • The Czech Protests Organized by Milion chvilek: What Kind of Populism, If Any? (Jan Géryk)
  • Populism, Anti-Semitism – and the Question of Sovereignty: Impressions of Group Discussions with German Party Chapters (Daniel Poensgen)
  • Reflections on the General Regime of Conditionality for the Protection of the Union Budget (Isabel Staudinger)
  • Is Free Movement of People Subverting Democracy in Europe? A Hirschmanian Hypothesis (Vesco Paskalev)
  • Miscellaneous
  • New Forms of Employment and Their Impact on Working Conditions in the Digital Age in Serbia – A Case Study of Car: Go (Aleksandar Kovačević)

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.