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What the Democracy / Rule of Law Is... and Is Not

Panel Discussion
Friday, October 20, 2023, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Inaugural event in the series of “Revisiting Key Concepts in the Study of Democracy and the Rule of Law” co-sponsored by the Re- and De-Democratization and the Rule of Law Working Groups of CEU Democracy Institute in Budapest.

A conversation between the leading thinkers on the crucially distinct, yet inseparable intertwined nature of democracy and the rule of law revisiting the concepts as well as the interactions between them in the context of the fast-evolving challenges of our times.


Terry Lynn Karl earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University. She was teaching at. the Government Department of Harvard University and at Stanford University’s Department of Political Science. She served as director of the Center for Latin American Studies for twelve years”. Karl’s notion of  “the paradox of plenty” (The Paradox of Plenty: Oil Booms and Petro-States, University of California Press, 1998) or the political resource curse was recognized by Time Magazine as one of “ten ideas that are changing our world.” Her most recent book on democratization assesses the lessons from Latin America and elsewhere for the United States “Extreme Inequality and State Capture:  The Crisis of Democracy in the United States (in English, Spanish and Chinese, 2019). Currently she works as a war crimes/human rights investigator/ expert witness for several judicial systems: the U.S. (Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security/War Crimes Division), Spain, El Salvador, Colombia and elsewhere, and non-governmental organizations.

Martin Krygier is Gordon Samuels Professor of Law and Social Theory, UNSW Sydney and Senior Research Fellow, Rule of Law Program, CEU Democracy Institute, Budapest. He writes extensively on the rule of law and its challenge(r)s, most recent among them anti-constitutional populism. He writes extensively for academic journals and journals of public debate, on the rule of law, law and social theory, and law and politics in central and eastern Europe. His present research is focused on anti-constitutionalist populism and the rule of law. In 2002 he was awarded the Cavalier’s Cross, Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, in 2016 the Dennis Leslie Mahoney Prize in Legal Theory, and in 2020 Membership of the Order of Australia. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2002 and has enjoyed invited fellowships and visiting professorships at numerous universities and institutes in Australia, Austria, Hungary, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Philippe C. Schmitter is a graduate of the Institut Universitaire d’Hautes Etudes Internationales of the University of Geneva, and took his doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley.  Since 1967 he has been successively assistant professor, associate professor and professor of political science at the University of Chicago, at the European University Institute (1982-86) and at Stanford University (1986-96).  From 1997 until 2005, he was again a professor in the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the European University Institute.  Since then he has been a “professorial fellow” there and a recurring lecturer at the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (SUM) in Florence and at the Central European University in Budapest. He has published books and articles on comparative politics, on regional integration in Western Europe and Latin America, on the transition from authoritarian rule in Southern Europe and Latin America, and on the intermediation of class, sectoral and professional interests. His current work is on the political characteristics of the emerging Euro-polity, on the consolidation of democracy in Southern and Eastern Europe, and on the possibility of post-liberal democracy in Western Europe and North America.


Joelle Grogan - Senior Research at UK in a Changing Europe at King's College London; Research Fellow at CEU Democracy Institute.


Barbara Grabowska-Moroz – Postdoctoral Research Fellow at CEU Democracy Institute, Rule of Law Workgroup