This section provides a list of experts on democratic decay working within the policy sector, broadly conceived as encompassing government, intergovernmental organisations, and civil society organisations (national and transnational) including advocacy organisation and media outlets. These experts have been identified through Dr Daly’s global network, suggestions from DEM-DEC users, and the DEM-DEC Bibliography and Bibliography Updates.

It is also worth bearing in mind that the current challenges facing democracy have spurred the rise of ‘professor advocates’, who are deeply engaged in both academic and policy work. For instance, legal scholars such as Kim Scheppele, Laurent Pech, and Dimitry Kochenov belong to this category.


Italy - Founder, The Good Lobby “connecting academics and professionals to non-profit organisations in order to make their voice heard” - also Professor of Global Law at NYU and of EU Law at HEC Paris


Uruguay - Secetary General of Organization of American States (OAS)- has been a strong advocate for action against authoritarian governments in Latin America, particularly the Maduro government in Venezuela


USA/Poland - journalist- Washington Post columnist - strong focus on Russia, Central and Eastern Europe

BARATTA, Roberto

Italy - democratic governance in the EU - legal adviser at the Permanent Representation of Italy to the European Union


USA/Israel/EU - journalist - POLITICO Europe’s budget reporter - previously a correspondent in Budapest, where she covered Hungarian politics and Central Europe’s relationship with Brussels


Poland/Brussels - EU & NATO correspondent for Deutsche Welle (Poland) and Gazeta Wyborcza (leading Polish daily) - experience in Russia, Ukraine, Italy, and Middle East and North Africa (MENA)


UK/Netherlands - International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) - Head of Constitution-Building Processes - particular focus on democratic resilience


USA - Director, Defending Democracy Together (US Republicans) “dedicated to defending America’s democratic norms, values, and institutions and fighting for consistent conservative principles like rule of law, free trade, and expanding legal immigration” - Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

DÜRR, Rudolf Schnutz

Germany - Council of Europe - Commission on Democracy Through the Rule of Law (‘Venice Commission’) - Head of Constitutional Justice Division - expert in constitutional justice and European standards


Germany - Policy Director at Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies - formerly leading positions within the Konrad Adenauer Foundation - has contributed to debates and published extensively on European integration, international security, German-Polish relations, global democracy support and about Russia and Eastern Europe

GALL, Lydia

Sweden - Balkans and Eastern EU Researcher at Human Rights Watch - human rights lawyer - former journalist

INT'VELD, Sophie

Netherlands - Member of the European Parliament (MEP) - Member, Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) - Member, Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee (D-TR) - leading advocate in parliament for tougher action on democratic backsliding


USA - Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) - national security challenges facing the United States and Europe, focusing on populism and threats to democracy, the state of the Transatlantic alliance, and Russia

KRISTOL, William (Bill)

USA - Director, Defending Democracy Together (US Republicans) “dedicated to defending America’s democratic norms, values, and institutions and fighting for consistent conservative principles like rule of law, free trade, and expanding legal immigration” - editor at large and founder of The Weekly Standard


UK - Co-producer of EU Scream: The Podcast on Europe and Its Political Extremes - former EU correspondent for The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times, based in Paris and then Brussels, from 2005 to 2017


Czech Republic - Executive Director of the Forum 2000 Foundation - Member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Democracy Assistance and Human Rights (DEMAS) - Founding Curator of the Prague Hub of Global Shapers of the World Economic Forum (WEF)

KREKÓ, Péter

Hungary - Director of Political Capital Institute, a think-tank in Budapest - Fulbright Visiting Professor at the Central Eurasian Studies Department at Indiana University - teaches courses in political science and social and political psychology


USA - Council on Foreign Relations - Democracy - Asia - Southeast Asia - Thailand


Slovakia - political scientist – Founder and President of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) - has published widely on party systems’ development and political aspects of transformation in post-communist societies


Poland - Founder, Committee for the Defence of Democracy (KOD) - EU public affairs and communications professional


Brazil - Advocate at Conectas Human Rights -

PANYI, Szabolcs Panyi

Hungary - Investigative journalist - covering corruption, national security issues and Russian influence - worked for, Hungary's largest independent news site before joining non-profit investigative journalism center Direkt36 - also working with, a National Endowment for Democracy (NED) supported Central European investigative journalism initiative

PEHE, Jiří

Czech Republic - political analyst and writer - Director of New York University's academic center in Prague since 1999 - formerly director of the Political Department for former Czech President Vaclav Havel from 1997-1999


USA - Founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy and co-chair of the Research Council of the International Forum for Democratic Studies - author of Democracy Without Borders? Global Challenges to Liberal Democracy (2008) - has co-edited with Larry Diamond more than two dozen books on contemporary issues relating to democracy in the Journal of Democracy book series


Poland - Editor-in-chief of Visegrad Insight - Chairman of Res Publica Foundation in Warsaw - former editor of Eurozine and Res Publica Nowa (Poland)


Germany - Council of Europe - law - consultant reports on democratic security, judicial independence and impartiality in Europe


Netherlands/EU - Member of the European Parliament (MEP) - Vice-Chair of European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs - leading advocate in parliament for tougher action on rule of law backsliding

SHOOT, Rebecca

USA - Director, International Law and Human Rights Programme - Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) - workS with parliamentarians worldwide to counter legislative and political efforts to erode democratic principles and practices, including assaults on separation and balance of powers, legislative autonomy, and judicial independence

STEINBEIS, Maximilien

Germany - legal journalist and writer - Editor and founder of Verfassungsblog, a journalistic and academic forum of debate on topical events and developments in constitutional law and politics in Germany, the emerging European constitutional space and beyond. It provides an interface between the academic expert discourse on the one hand and the political public sphere on the other.


Belgium (Brussels) - Executive Director, Defending Democracy - digital advocacy and political communications - particular focus on democratic backsliding in Europe


USA/Belgium/UK - European Media Director of Human Rights Watch - has written about violent conflict, post-conflict situations, authoritarian regimes, and post-authoritarian transitions - particular focus on role of the media


Portugal - history - national populism - rule of law in the EU - a Portuguese writer, historian, and former Member of the European Parliament - founder of the left-green-libertarian party LIVRE - author of the documentary film Ulysses: Breaking the Spell of the Crisis to Save Europe

WALKER, Christopher

USA - Vice President for Studies and Analysis at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) - oversees the department responsible for NED’s multifaceted analytical work, including the International Forum for Democratic Studies, a leading center for the analysis and discussion of democratic development


UK - Founder of Democratic Society in 2006 "to develop new approaches to democratic governance that are better suited to the 21st century" - regular contributor at the Club of Venice (the association of heads of government communications of the EU member states), SEECOM (South Eastern Europe Communications Network), and the Council of Europe’s World Forum for Democracy

ZAF, Hasanal

Hong Kong - Founder and President of We The People, an NGO focused on the use of technology to enhance democratic freedoms in unfree societies

ZGUT, Edit

Hungary/Poland - Former senior research fellow at Political Capital focused on illiberalism in CEE - currently Ph.D. researcher at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology in the Polish Academy of Sciences examining how democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland influences the legal and political mechanisms through which the institutions of the EU are trying to constrain authoritarian regime-building