publication . Preprint . 2018

An Introduction to Abusive Legalism

Cheung, Alvin;
  • Published: 22 Feb 2018
  • Publisher: Center for Open Science
<p>This project suggests that one response to growing scrutiny of authoritarian tactics is to turn to sub-constitutional public law, or private law. By using “ordinary” law in ways that seem consistent with formal and procedural aspects of rule of law, autocrats can nonetheless frustrate the rule of law and consolidate power, while also avoiding drawing unfavourable attention to that consolidation. I refer to this phenomenon as “abusive legalism.”This project makes three main contributions to the scholarship on authoritarianism. First, it focuses on the use of “ordinary,” sub-constitutional law as a means of maintaining autocratic power, an area which has been u...
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