Constitutional liberalism is a form of government that upholds the principles of classical liberalism and the rule of law. It differs from liberal democracy in that it is not about the method of selecting government.
The journalist and scholar Fareed Zakaria explains that constitutional liberalism "is about government's goals. It refers to the tradition, deep in Western history, that seeks to protect an individual's autonomy and dignity against coercion, whatever the source—state, church, or society". In a constitutionally liberal state, a liberal market is regulated and protected at the level of the constitution and so trade is mostly free, but not entirely unhampered.
Throughout history, democracy is becoming more common around the world, but it has been in decline for the last 13 years. Freedom House reported that in 2018 there were 116 electoral democracies. Many of these countries are not constitutionally liberal and can be described as illiberal democracies. Constitutional liberalism is different from liberal constitutionalism. While the former asserts values of personal sovereignty at a constitutional level, the latter guards freedom to assert ones own values in the constitution.
- Classical liberalism
- Democratic ideals
- History of democracy
- Illiberal democracy
- Liberal democracy
- Night-watchman state
- Social liberalism
- Shapiro, Nathan. "It's Not Democracy You Want...It's Liberalism". Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- Zakaria, Fareed. "The Rise of Illiberal Democracy". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- Vanberg, Victor (1999). "Markets and Regulation: On the Contrast Between Free-Market Liberalism and Constitutional Liberalism" (PDF). Constitutional Political Economy. 10: 219–243 – via Springer Link.
- "Freedom in the World 2019". Freedom House. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
- "Freedom in the World 2018". Freedom House. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
- "Freedom in the World 2013". Freedom House. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- Plattner, Marc. "Liberalism and Democracy: Can't Have One Without the Other". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Vanberg, Victor (2011). "Liberal Constitutionalism, Constitutional Liberalism and Democracy" (PDF). Constitutional Political Economy. 22: 1–20 – via Springer.