Tuesday 26 February 2019, 18:30 - 20:00

Law, Populism and Liberal Democracy

Michael Ignatieff

President and Rector at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary

Auditorium Ivan Pictet
Maison de la paix, Geneva

The populist upsurge in the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe and in established democracies like the United States, has exposed the political vulnerability of rule of law as a cornerstone of liberal democracy.  It is not just in authoritarian populist states that the independence of judges and the authority of law have come under attack in the name of a majoritarian conception of democracy.  This suggests that the rule of law has always stood in a relation of tension with other principles of democracy, including majority rule and an independent media.  The lecture explores these renewed political pressures on rule of law, using contemporary examples drawn from the US, the UK and Hungary.

Michael Ignatieff is the Rector and President of Central European University in Budapest. His major publications are The Needs of Strangers (1984), Scar Tissue (1992), Isaiah Berlin (1998), The Rights Revolution (2000), Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry (2001), The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror (2004), Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics (2013), and The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World (2017).

This event is part of the lecture series on "Dismantling the Rule of Law?" organised by the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy


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