The Authoritarian Nature of Common Good Constitutionalism

29 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2022

See all articles by Michael A. Wilkinson

Michael A. Wilkinson

London School of Economics - Law School

Date Written: November 22, 2022


How are we to evaluate the project of common good constitutionalism? This new movement, which dismisses positivism and liberalism, progressivism and originalism, aims to overturn the entire canon of modern political and constitutional theory. In its place, it aims to restore a classical tradition of natural law, which is said to have been lost over the last century of constitutional law and practice. But it aims to do so using one of liberalism’s own juristic heroes, Ronald Dworkin, in order to free conservatism from the tethers of fidelity to constitutional text. Although intellectually confused, the real purpose of common good constitutionalism is to make an intervention into the constitutional culture wars of the present. In so doing it lends itself to highly authoritarian readings, not because of its opposition to liberalism, but because of its steadfast refusal of any link between constitutional authority and democracy.

Keywords: Authoritarianism, Conservatism, Common Good Constitutionalism, Natural Law, Democracy

Suggested Citation

Wilkinson, Michael A., The Authoritarian Nature of Common Good Constitutionalism (November 22, 2022). LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 13/2022, Available at SSRN: or

Michael A. Wilkinson (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law School ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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