Orlando Scarcello

Orlando Scarcello holds a Ph.D. in Law from Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, with a thesis on European Constitutional Pluralism. He previously was LL.M. Researcher at the European University Institute and International Visiting Graduate Student at the University of Toronto. His research areas are EU law, public law, and jurisprudence.


Research Project

Legal Institutionalism and The Intellectual Roots of Authoritarian Constitutionalism in Europe. This project aims at exploring the intellectual roots of contemporary “authoritarian” or “illiberal” constitutionalism in Europe, starkly challenging the rule of law. It will focus on the possible relations between illiberal constitutionalism and the “institutionalist” tradition in constitutional law, mostly active during the ‘20s - ‘30s of the XX century and today often rediscovered by scholars. Within this framework, two strands of research will be carried on. First, a wider analysis of institutionalism will be attempted. While contemporary authors sympathetic with this tradition are often committed to openly democratic views, “institutionalists” were often openly authoritarian (e.g. Schmitt) or ambiguous thinkers (e.g. Romano). Schmitt, in particular, was harshly critical towards the rule of law. While a certain attention has been devoted to the Schmittian roots of authoritarian constitutionalism, other authors within the institutionalist tradition are less studied. In particular, the focus will be on two prominent Italian public lawyers connected to Schmitt, namely Romano and Mortati. The point will be to determine how similar or how different these authors are in criticizing the rule of law. Secondly, the project will consider the extent to which this intellectual tradition could be used (or has already been used) to provide a theory sustaining authoritarian constitutionalism. It will be necessary to check whether in current defenses of authoritarian constitutionalism actually rely on this canon or employ its thesis.