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Thursday, 29 February 2024 - 5.00pm
Location: 
Online webinar

CLTDGSpeakers: Diego de Guadalupe Romero Rivero (Cambridge)

Abstract: Most legal academics analysing populism focus exclusively on formal legal changes. Some even suggest that constitutional scholars should keep in mind that it is more important to see what populists are doing than what they are saying. However, we act with words. As language philosopher J.L. Austin demonstrated, to say something is usually to do a number of things.

Currently, democratic guardrails of constitutions are undermined not only by amendments to its provisions but also by political actors making them ‘dead letter.’ Speech act theory in general, and feminist philosophy of language in particular, provide valuable tools to explain (i) how populism can use speech to silence institutions and the opposition, and (ii) how populist speech can informally transform or undo constitutional norms.

Some scholars, including Nadia Urbinati, describe the relationship between populism and democracy as parasitic. This research contributes to the explanation of such a description by evincing how populists can use speech to corrupt democracy without destroying it.

The Paper: https://bit.ly/cltdg-romero-paper

The Zoom link: https://bit.ly/cltdg-lent24-3

You can follow us on Twitter: https://bit.ly/cambridgeltdg or check out our web-page: https://bit.ly/cltdgweb

Events