Catalin Avramescu

(1967) is an assistant professor in the department of political science at the University of Bucharest. He has researched and lectured at the Institut für Geschichte in Vienna; the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study; UCLA; and Helsinki University. His book An intellectual History of Cannibalism is forthcoming from Princeton University Press.


Abnormals of all nations, unite!

On the exceptionality of political liberty

Can a democratic constitution be called “normal”, something we can expect? Historically, an exemplary constitution has been the exception to the rule: according to political philosophers from the classical period to the nineteenth century, “Imitating or perpetuating this constitution requires exceptional strength, skill, and determination.” Today, writes Catalin Avramescu, what is worrying is not so much the number of failed democracies as the extensive misuse of democratic institutions, symbols, and practices.