Kristen Rundle (Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies, University of Melbourne) participated in the video series on Populism and Democracy during the international conference "Constitutionalism in the Age of Populism", March 6-8, 2020. She gave a paper on "Populism, Constitutionalism, and the Administrative State" and accepted the invitation to respond to a bold question "What are the greatest challenges that populism poses to democracy?".
In this video interview, Rundle stresses the importance of paying attention to the ways in which relationships between governments and their citizens are breaking down. For Rundle, populists are responding to a fundamental failure of responsiveness of governments to the citizens, an aspect of populism that scholars need urgently to consider. As a legal theorist and an administrative lawyer, Rundle suggests not neglecting the “small spaces”, namely “the direct interactions of the citizens with the entities of administrative state”, urging scholars to observe the change that has occurred in “the nature of how governments relate to their citizens” during the last decades, as this development might have made a significant contribution to fomenting populist politics.
Watch the video here
Kristen Rundle joined Melbourne Law School in 2015 and became the Co-Director of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies in December 2016. Kristen previously held appointments at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney, as well as adjunct, visiting and honorary appointments at the University of Toronto, Erasmus University, the University of Ottawa, and the Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University.
Kristen Rundle is an expert in administrative law, legal theory, and public law. Her current research is located at the intersection of legal theory and public law in its effort to trace the conditions necessary for law to act as a limitation on power. Her interest in interactions between legal forms and human agency has also informed her research into the connections between law and the Holocaust, her work on the legal and institutional attributes of the British child migration program, and her ongoing inquiry into questions of theory and practice arising from the neoliberal redesign of the administrative state, especially with respect to contracted-out public functions.
You can read more about Kristen Rundle’s current research here.