What is authoritarianism? What is the authoritarian personality? In what social, psychological, economic, and political climates does authoritarianism take root and become an object of desire? In what ways does the rule of law bend to and even reflect authoritarian impulses? Although it is common to think of constitutionalism as anti-authoritarian, and of authoritarianism as anathema to constitutionalism (after all, what do formal legal "constraints" on state power inscribed in fundamental law mean in an authoritarian state — a state free to act as it wishes?), in what ways and to what ends have authoritarian and quasi-authoritarian regimes relied on constitutional law and in what ways do authoritarian impulses manifest in supposedly liberal democratic regimes? Finally, and crucially for our purposes, what roles have lawyers played in erecting and resisting authoritarianism? In this reading group we will address these questions through a wide range of source material in law, history, cognitive psychology, political theory, and fiction. Winter Quarter. Meeting Time: Tuesdays, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Meeting Dates: TBD. DISCUSSIONS IN ETHICAL & PROFESSIONAL VALUES COURSES RANKING FORM: To apply for this course, 2L, 3L and Advanced Degree students must complete and submit a Ranking Form available on the SLS website (Click Courses at the bottom of the homepage and then click Consent of Instructor Forms). See Consent Application Form for instructions and submission deadline. Elements used in grading: Attendance and active participation are requirements of the seminar.