Category Archives: law

Lakhdar Ghettas: “The Tunisian revolution seven years on”

“Political transitions following bottom up upheavals are very difficult to navigate in that they bring to the surface all the contradictions that were suppressed by the authoritarian regime.”

Neda Semnani: “Not a Revolution”

On Iranian protests:  “The start [of revolution] is lofty, chaotic, and idealistic, while the aftermath is often a painful and difficult disappointment. Nonetheless, people do revolt. And, I believe, there are times they should. But arriving at revolution is never a victory. It is a deep and violent trauma and people choose it because they feel the old system was so broken and had failed them profoundly that they have no choice. Revolution is the primal scream of a dissatisfied collective. You did us wrong, the people shout in unison, so we are wresting power from you and placing our faith in a new, untested future.”

Kaveh Ehsani & Arang Keshavarzian: “The Moral Economy of the Iranian Protests”

The Iranian demonstrators share the familiar anxieties produced by global capitalism’s rampant inequalities and environmental destruction. … What makes the demonstrations against malfeasance and the calls for political change and social justice powerful is the fact that the protesters are accusing Iran’s rulers of violating the revolution’s commitment to a moral economy.”

Susan Faludi: “The Patriarchs are Falling. The Patriarchy is Stronger than Ever.”

“Which leads me to wonder, if we get rid of a handful of Harveys [Weinsteins] while losing essential rights and protections for millions of women, are we really winning this thing? How is this female calamity happening in the midst of the Female Revolution? An answer may lie in a schism that has haunted women’s protest for 150 years.”

Boaventura de Sousa Santos: “The Left and Catalonia”

“First, the relationship between law and democracy is dialectical and
not mechanical. Much of what we consider democratic legality in a given
historical moment started as illegality, as an aspiration to a better and broader
democracy. It is therefore imperative to evaluate the political processes in
terms of their overall historical dynamics. In no case can they be reduced to
conformity with the laws of the day.”

Duncan Ivison: “Why should we obey the law?”

Political obligation “in contemporary politics, where people disagree vehemently about significant political, social and economic issues.”

Stephen Gardbaum: “Revolutionary Constitutionalism”

Since constitution-making seeks to institutionalize and bring to a successful conclusion a political revolution, it “contains within itself certain paradoxes and practical problems that have their source in the combination of initial radical transition and subsequent resistance to further radical change that constitutionalization brings.”

Jack M. Balkin: “How to tell if you are in a constitutional crisis”

When people talk about constitutional crisis in the Trump Administration:         ‘A constitutional crisis occurs when there is a serious danger that the Constitution is about to fail at its central task. The central task of constitutions is to keep disagreement within the boundaries of ordinary politics rather than breaking down into anarchy, violence, or civil war.  To be sure, constitutions are also valuable because they protect civil liberties and divide and restrain power; but their first job is to keep the peace and make people struggle with each other within politics rather than outside of it.

When people are upset at what government officials have done, they often call these actions constitutional crises. However, most of these situations aren’t really constitutional crises, because there is no real danger that the Constitution is about to break down.  The vast majority of uses of the term “constitutional crisis” are hyperbole.’