Washington International Law Journal


Binendri Perera


Constitutional democracies claim themselves to be constructed upon the will of the people. As the agency gap between the rulers and the ruled widens, people are increasingly more frustrated and compelled to actively take a stand. Advances of technology and social mobilization give increasing opportunities for the people to directly express their will and call for accountability from their representatives. Against this backdrop, this paper engages in a comparative analysis of people’s movements that happened and are continuing to take place in South Korea, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Algeria. Based on the analysis, the paper maps out the common weaknesses in the constitutional and political structures of each of these countries and thereby highlights the distinctive features of these people’s movements. The paper conceptualizes constitutional movements of people as a specific instance of popular constitutionalism wherein people challenge their representatives and directly assert the constitutional principles. These people’s movements, while being formidable, face complicated dilemmas in their quest to establish constitutional norms in their countries.

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