Book Launch: Wojciech Sadurski's, "Poland's Constitutional Breakdown" - King's College London, UK, 31 October 2019

Full details here

Since 2015, Poland's populist Law and Justice Party (PiS) has been dismantling the major checks and balances of the Polish state and subordinating the courts, the civil service, and the media to the will of the executive. Political rights have been radically restricted, and the Party has captured the entire state apparatus. The speed and depth of these antidemocratic movements took many observers by surprise: until now, Poland was widely regarded as an example of a successful transitional democracy.

Conference: 'Recovering the Promise of 1989' - Forum 2000, Prague, 13-15 October 2019

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Thirty years ago, the world was full of hope that, finally, democracy, freedom, and a global order based on peace and responsibility would prevail. In the tumultuous year 1989, people rallied against governments with a dismal human rights record and a lack of respect for the rule of law. Protests in Beijing, Berlin, or Prague coincided with ongoing or looming democratic transitions in Chile, Nicaragua, South Africa and elsewhere. Citizens globally asked for more freedom and democracy and hoped for a just society. Western democracies served as a model to which many looked up to.

CfP: 'Human Rights and the Decay of Democracy' - Law Schools Global League (LSGL), Deadline 20 May

Call for Proposals here

Decay of democracy has been the subject of countless manifestations from academics, journalists, civil society representatives and politicians in recent years. At every scheduled election in any relevant democracy, issues such as the increasing numbers of absent voters, the rise — or the prevalence — of ultra-right political parties and the distrust of representative institutions become central topics for the domestic electoral debate. While the linkage between democracy and the advancement of Human Rights remains largely unquestioned, the effects of deteriorating democracies on Human Rights around the globe have not been fully understood.

Talk: 'Is Democracy Dying?' - Melbourne Multicultural hub, Australia, 22 August 2019

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Reports of the death of democracy may be greatly exaggerated. However, there is mounting evidence that many people are losing trust in our democratic institutions. Today people in countries we regard as non-democratic often have greater confidence in their governments to act in their interest than we do. Observers pin the blame on our out-of-touch governments, corrupt media and politicians, big corporations and a growing gap between rich and poor. Disaffected citizens are meanwhile attracted to new populism because they feel dragged down by economic dissatisfaction, broken promises, decline and injustice.

Conference: 'Democratic Renewal in Times of Polarisation. The Case of Belgium' - KU Leuven, Belgium, 19-20 September 2019

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Theme of the Conference

Democracy is in crisis: participation in elections is dropping, opinions are polarizing, and there is a widespread belief that parties and politicians fail to represent all citizens. This has created a strong push towards experimentation with various “democratic innovations”. Recent years have seen a veritable explosion in new forms of citizen participation and deliberation around the world. At the same time, there is a renewed interest in forms of “direct democracy” such as the referendum and the popular initiative.

Workshop: 'Constitutional Resilience in South Asia' - 5-7 December 2019, Melbourne, Australia

Full details here

Application deadline: 15 February 2019

Summary

The organisers are pleased to announce a workshop on “Constitutional Resilience in South Asia”. Concerns about the stability of democracies, even long-established democracies, have been rising globally. As a region, South Asia has had a tumultuous and varied relationship with constitutional democracy.