–Mark Graber, The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
The Constitutional Democracy Listserv is now up and running. If you are interesting in joining, send me (mgraber [at] law.umaryland.edu) your name and email and I will get you registered. Below is a reminder of the listserv purposes and preliminary rules.
- I hope this list will provide a forum for thinking about the state of constitutional democracy throughout the world.
- As such, you should be encouraged to a) post your thoughts about the state of constitutional democracy throughout the world, b) provide information about the state of constitutional democracy (Kim Scheppele is doing terrific work on a number of listservs providing information about Brexit), c) provide information about publications of interest, your publications in particular and d) provide information on upcoming conferences (“would anyone like to join a panel on X at the next __ conference?” is a perfectly good post).
- This is a listserv for academics interested in questions of constitutional democracy. As such, posts should use language appropriate for an academic seminar and not a protest movement in the streets. People are likely to have strong feelings about various practices in the world of constitutional democracy and academic commentary. Nevertheless, please remember that if you cannot convince by arguments that some proposal is foolish, calling the proponents fools or worse is not likely to be any more effective.
- Keep posts constructive. “You are deliberately misunderstanding me” or “you only say that because you support the blue party” have little or no content. Readers can determine for themselves whether one post misunderstands another post.
- One virtue of a seminar is that participants are free to try out ideas that, on reflection, may not be publication worthy. I suspect many of us have had the experience of making a comment on a listserv or in a seminar that on reflection, perhaps inspired by others, you realized was mistaken. For this reason, what gets said on this listserv stays on this listserv unless the listserv speaker gives permission for outside publication. Essentially this is the Chatham House Rule.
- No one should send critical private messages to listserv participants. These messages are often correctly perceived as intimidating, particularly by scholars who may be in vulnerable positions. If you think a post is foolish, that is what the delete key is for. I gather ICON-S is developing a harassment policy. That policy will be incorporated by the listserv when adopted.
- Everyone who is on the listserv agrees to abide by these rules and principles and is subject to removal for violations.
- I will put together a committee that will help refine these standards and determine whether violations have occurred.
- At the next ICON-S Annual Conference, we should discuss whatever listserv issues and governance problems emerge.