The International Association of Constitutional Law || l'Association Internationale de Droit Constitutionnel

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In the twenty years since the end of the last wave of democratization it has become clear that, along with traditional liberal-constitutional democracies, an important number of countries have embraced different forms of illiberal democracy, that is, they are regimes in which there are competitive elections of political authorities but that concentrate power around the executive office, to the point that even the courts are under the control of the government.

Even though in the past there have been many authoritarian, semi-authoritarian and even totalitarian regimes which cloaked their true nature under a constitution, recent examples have shown a current of thought which tries to present these regimes as a new and more efficient type of constitutionalism, putting into question long established notions of constitutional government.

This development has examples in different areas of the world, thus becoming a subject of study with great interest for scholars globally, in line with the international nature of the IACL. It should be noted, however, that the activities of the research group are not limited to the study of current examples of this type of constitutionalism, but may also include the analysis of past examples, in order to explore similarities, identify possible patterns of authoritarian constitutionalism and draw lessons which may help to better understand this phenomenon.

Current Members

General Theory of Illiberal Constitutionalism

Ricardo Ramirez Calvo (coordinator) – Universidad de San Andres (Argentina)
Justin Frosini – Università Bocconi/CCSDD (Italy)
José Ramón Bohon Sosa – Escuela Libre de Derecho de Sinaloa (Mexico)
Tom Gerald Daly – University of Melbourne (Australia)
Giorgio Grasso – Università dell’Insubria (Italy)
Donna Greschner – University of Victoria (Canada)
Vicki Jackson – Harvard Law School (USA)
Jason Mazzone – University of Illinois (USA)
Giammaria Milani – University of Siena (Italy)
Pablo Riberi – Universidad Cordoba (Argentina)
Mark Tushnet – Harvard Law School (USA)

Illiberal Elements in Consolidated Democracies

Sergio Gerotto (coordinator) – University di Padova (Italy)
Jean Philippe Derosier – Université Lille 2 – Droit & Santé (France)
Giorgio Grasso – Università dell’Insubria (Italy)
Donna Greschner – University of Victoria (Canada)
Sara Pennicino – Università di Padova/CCSDD (Italy)
German Teruel Lozano – Tribunal Constitucional (Spain)
Jean Philippe Derosier – Université Lille 2 – Droit & Santé (France)

Latin America

Manuel García-Mansilla (coordinator) – Universidad Austral (Argentina)
Javier Andres Couso Salas – Universidad Diego Portales (Chile)
Sebastian Elias – Universidad de San Andres (Argentina)
Tom Ginsburg – University of Chicago Law School (USA)
Ricardo Ramirez Calvo – Universidad del Salvador/ Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (Argentina)
María Cecilia Recalde​ –  Universidad Católica Argentina (Argentina)

Eastern Europe and Eurasia

Carna Pistan (coordinator) – University of Udine/CCSDD (Italy)
Violeta Besirevic – University of Belgrade (Serbia)
Agnieszka Bień-Kacała – Nicolaus Copernicus University (Poland)
Tímea Drinóczi – Kenyatta University (Kenya)
Cristina Gazzetta – Università degli Studi Niccolò Cusano (Italy)
Angela di Gregorio – Università degli Studi di Milano (Italy)
Viktoriia Lapa –Bocconi University (Italy)
Bertrand Mathieu – Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (France)
Tatiana Maslovskaya – Belarusian State University (Belarus)
Armen Mazmanyan – Apella Institute for Policy Analysis and Dialogue (Armenia)
Marko Milenkovic – Institute of Social Sciences (Belgrade)/CCSDD (Italy)


Andrew Harding (coordinator) – Centre for Asian Legal Studies, NUS (Singapore)
Tom Ginsburg – University of Chicago Law School (USA)
Jack Lee – Centre for Asian Legal Studies, NUS (Singapore)
Peter Leyland – School of Oriental and African Studies (UK)
Thio Li-ann – Centre for Asian Legal Studies, NUS (Singapore)
Jaclyn Neo – Centre for Asian Legal Studies, NUS (Singapore)
Bui Ngoc Son – Centre for Asian Legal Studies, NUS (Singapore)
Kevin Tan – Centre for Asian Legal Studies, NUS (Singapore)
Shucheng Wang – City University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)


Francesco Biagi (coordinator) – Università di Bologna/CCSDD (Italy)
Justin Frosini –Bocconi University/CCSDD (Italy)
Obiodun Odusote – University of Lagos (Nigeria)

List of Events


Constitutionalism without Adjectives Percorsi costituzionalSpecial Issue, Constitutionalism without Adjectives, Percorsi costituzionali, No. 3/2020

This Special Issue develop the work of the IACL research group on Constitutionalism in Illiberal Democracies, coordinated by Professor Justin O. Frosini and Professor Ricardo Ramirez Calvo.

In particular, it focuses on hybrid and authoritarian regimes which have emerged in Central Asia following the post-Cold War wave of democratization. Through a selection of specific topics, such as the role of constitutions, constitutional justice, political pluralism and the Eurasian Economic Union, the authors explore the political and constitutional development in the region with the complex relationship between constitutionalism and authoritarianism as the focal point. The aim of this research is to show the ways in which constitutionalism, although traditionally associated with democracy-building and democratic consolidation, can actually be manipulated in favour of authoritarianism. Although the emphasis of this study is on the role of constitutionalism in contemporary non-democratic regimes, it also contains much that will be of interest for scholars of transitional studies, and comparative politics.  

Find out more

  • Justin O. Frosini, Riccardo Ramirez Calvo, Costituzionalismo senza aggettivi. Constitutionalism without Adjectives. Percorsi costituzionali 1-3/2020.
  • Justin O. Frosini, Riccardo Ramirez Calvo, Ossimori costituzionali. Constitutional Oxymorons, Percorsi Costituzionali 2/2019.
  • Justin O. Frosini & Carna Pistan (eds), Illiberal Constitutionalism in Central Asia, Wolters Klewer(forthcoming)
  • Francesco Biagi, European Constitutional Courts and Transitions to Democracy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2020, pp. 1-258.
  • Justin O. Frosini & Mark F. Gilbert (2019): The Brexit car crash: using E.H. Carr to explain Britain’s choice to leave the European Union in 2016, Journal of European Public Policy, pp. 1-18.
  • Carna Pistan (2019): Smart Authoritarianism: Nazarbayev’s resignation as a move to consolidate Kazakhstan’s 2017 constitutional reform, DPCE Online, vol. 2/2019, pp. 1037-1054.
  • Carna Pistan (2019): Pseudo Constitutionalism in Central Asia: Curse or Cure?, Federalismi.it, vol. 8/2019, pp. 1-18.
  • Giorgio Grasso, Roberto Perrone (2019): European Political Parties and the Respect for the Values on Which the European Union Is Founded Between the European Legislation and the National Laws, European Public Law 25, Vol 4/2019, pp. 665–688.
  • Giorgio Grasso (2018): Démocratie (libérale) contre démocratie non libérale: le cas des parti< appliqué, october-december 2018, pp. 479-492.
  • Giuseppina Scala (2017): Profili peculiari nella riforma costituzionale norvegese del 2017. Il concetto di Folkekyrkja tra mancato disestablishment e novazione dello status, DPCE Online, Vol 3/2017.
  • Giuseppina Scala (2018): Le monarchie di Norvegia e Svezia e il rinnovamento incompiuto del costituzionalismo nordico, Diritto Pubblico Comparato ed Europeo, il Mulino, Vol. 4/2018, pp. 975-1002.
  • Giuseppina Scala (2018): Elementi peculiari di diritto naturale e criteri interpretativi nella tradizione costituzionale danese. Alla ricerca di una definizione del concetto di forholdets natur, Percorsi Costituzionali, Vol. 1/2018, il Mulino, pp. 259-286.
  • Giuseppina Scala, Regole protocollari e formalità giuridiche nell’ordinamento danese. Brevi cenni a margine dell’Ordinanza sulla stretta di mano, forthcoming
  • Justin O. Frosini, Dalla Sovranità del Parlamento alla Sovranità del Popolo. La rivoluzione costituzionale della Brexit, Wolters Klewer, 2020



Contact Details


  • Professor Justin O. Frosini
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  • Professor Ricardo Ramirez-Calvo
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