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From the Publisher"While emergency powers are most frequently resorted to in Asia, there is little systematic or comprehensive study of this phenomenon. Emergency powers can be a threat to liberal constitutionalism; it may also be a measure to restore stability and constitutional order. It may be an instrument of suppression, and yet in some circumstances, it may also serve to galvanize public support against authoritarian regimes. The role of emergency powers in liberal constitutional democracies, through which emergency powers are conventionally analyzed, is very different from that in developing countries, particularly in the transition from colonial rule to independence, or from political turbulence to relative tranquility. Can emergency powers be contained by the constitution, and more fundamentally, can constitutionalism be sustained and evolved alongside real, exaggerated or perceived emergency situations with a relatively fragile judiciary in many Asian states? This book provides a fresh perspective in understanding emergency powers by putting them squarely in the post-colonial and post-conflict social, legal, political and comparative context in Asia, thereby enabling an intellectual and theoretical engagement of the contemporary debates on this complex yet fascinating subject."
- Johannes Chan S. C., University of Hong Kong
"Drawing on impressive presentations of factual material and offering provocative theoretical insights, the essays here make an important contribution to our understanding of the constitutional regulation of emergency powers, one of the central questions in constitutional law and theory in today's world."
- Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School
"The role of emergency provisions in the constitutional order has generated a good deal of attention recently, but too often, the analysis is either abstract or focused on a single jurisdiction. Ramraj and Thiruvengadam have produced a wonderful comparative collection on the use and misuse of emergency powers in Asia. With its wide range of political regimes, constitutional traditions, and security challenges, Asia offers a fruitful environment to examine how policy makers and judges have grappled with emergencies, both real and imagined. Theoretically informed, empirically rich and conceptually nuanced, this volume is a major contribution to the ongoing debates on constitutionalism and security, and should be read throughout the region and beyond."
- Tom Ginsburg, University of Chicago Law School