History of ideas

Heads of section: Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins, Wesleyan University and Ferenc Laczo, Maastricht University

This section concentrates on the theories of (re/de) democratization, on the relationship between democracy and liberalism which is at the heart of the current populist crisis of democracy, as well as on the debates surrounding the notion of citizenship.

Thinking like Hannah Arendt

Our editor Kasia Krzyżanowska (EUI, CEU) talks with Samantha Rose Hill, professor at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, about her recently published biography of Hannah Arendt. 

Image credit: Annie Ernaux/ photo Catherine Hélie, Gallimard

Annie Ernaux and History

“More often than not, we get the sense that events are unfolding in the background, often detached from individuals, and that yet they will somehow influence individual lives” says Dr Elise Hugueny-Léger, Senior Lecturer in French at the University of St Andrews, in this interview with Kasia Krzyżanowska.

Ruling by Cheating? In Conversation with András Sajó

Our assistant editor Teodora Miljojković (CEU) talks with András Sajó, Professor in the Law Department of Central European University and former judge of the European Court of Human Rights about his new book, the tactics of illiberal regimes, their relationship to the rule of law, and shortfalls in the EU’s reaction.

From Socialist to Capitalist Walls

Gábor Scheiring reviews „Taking stock of shock. Social consequences of the 1989 revolutions” by Kristen Ghodsee and Mitchell Orenstein

Epigone scholarship

Our editor, Katarzyna Krzyżanowska, reviews a book by Aviezer Tucker “Democracy Against Liberalism” published by Polity Press, 2020

Talisse: To Be a Democratic Citizen

Katarzyna Krzyżanowska talks with Robert Talisse, W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, on epistemology of democracy.

Konrad Jarausch on Realistic Progress

RevDem editor Ferenc Laczo interviewed historian Konrad H. Jarausch, Lurcy Professor of European Civilization at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about his latest book Embattled Europe: A Progressive Alternative, a rich and finely balanced portrait of contemporary Europe.

Rising Inequality in Egalitarian Societies

In conversation with our editor Ferenc Laczo, Mitchell Orenstein, Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses post-communist transitions.

Is Neoliberalism Finally Dead?

Few concepts have been declared dead and buried more often than neoliberalism. However, it continues to survive. Neoliberal Resilience, Aldo Madariaga’s award-winning book, shows how. Review by Gabor Scheiring.

Can Technology Save Democracy?

How can we employ technology to facilitate the democratic process? Which platforms are more democratic than others? These and more questions are answered by Kevin Esterling, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of California in a conversation with the RevDem assistant editor, Catherine Wright. 

Owning the Constitution: Chile’s Unexpected Civil Revolution

On 4 July 2021, Chile’s “unexpected” Constitutional Convention commenced following a grassroots civil revolution against the current regime since 2019. Co-Head of Section for Cross-Regional Dialogue Stefano Palestini Céspedes (Catholic University of Chile) interviews Julieta Suárez-Cao (Catholic University of Chile) and Patricia Politzer (Journalist and Member of the Chilean Constitutional Assembly) to discuss their roles in this process.

Democracy Rules: A Book Discussion with Jan-Werner Müller and His Critics

Review of Democracy will host a discussion of the book with the author to be moderated by Zsolt Enyedi (Central European University) and with three prominent voices in the field: Gráinne de Búrca (New York University), Jan Kubik (Rutgers University and University College London), Jeffrey C. Isaac (Indiana University) and Karolina Wigura (University of Warsaw)

Corrective power of the populists

Do populists pose a threat to constitutional democracy? Are populists always the villains in our tales about democracy? Bojan Bugarič answers these questions in a conversation with Kasia Krzyżanowska. He also talks about his recent book on the relationship between constitutionalism and populism, co-authored with Mark Tushnet.

How East-West Dynamics Define Europe

In his article, Ferenc Laczo writes about the roots of the division of Europe into East and West and its consequences for European politics today.

Legal impossibilism versus the rule of law

Our editor, Katarzyna Krzyżanowska, writes about the relation between the rule of law in Poland and the idea of legal impossibilism, providing some worrying empirical data on the administration of justice in Poland.

“I Won’t Remain Silent”: Interview on Human Rights Activism in Hungary

In an interview with Bence Bari, Vera Mérő, Hungarian journalist, media researcher and human rights activist, discusses the questions of representation, popularization, internal conflicts and successes, challenges and leeways provided by the political and the social sphere when it comes to human rights activism in Hungary since 2016

Populism and Antipopulism: Beyond the Post-1989 Paradigm

Petr Agha, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Copenhagen in the iCourts Centre of Excellence for International Courts of the University of Copenhagen, discusses the clash between populism and antipopulism, and the implications for Europe, in conversation with Oliver Garner.

Fresco created by NovaDead, powered by ATENOR in Rue de la Loi in Brussels

Rule of Law is not like IKEA furniture

What is the societal dimension of the rule of law? How can we improve democracy on the European Union level? Is there a place for citizens engagement in design of the Conference on the Future of Europe? Paul Blokker, an associate professor at the University of Bologna, in a conversation with Kasia Krzyżanowska, unpacked all these issues.

“The Future Cannot be Stopped”: Interview on Feminism in Hungary

In an interview with our assistant editor Bence Bari, Lili Rutai, Hungarian feminist journalist and podcaster, co-founder and co-host of the popular podcast series “Vénusz Projekt,” discusses the representation and the popularization of feminism in Hungary

Editorial: Why yet another journal on democracy?

April 2021 marks the first month of the Review of Democracy, RevDem for short, an intellectual and academic journal founded by the CEU Democracy Institute. In our first editorial, we would like to inform our readers about the purpose of the Review and the main ideas behind it.

Fascism to Populism and Back Again? [PODCAST AND LONG READ]

RevDem editor Ferenc Laczo (Maastricht University) talks with Federico Finchelstein (New School for Social Research, New York) about his two recent books: “From Fascism to Populism in History” and “A Brief History of Fascist Lies”.

We cannot analytically divide reason from emotion

In the second part of the conversation, Jan-Werner Müller interviewed by Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič talks about populism and employment of emotions, and on bipartisanship and political conflict.

Vaccination passports – the way to go?

In the newest episode of the RevDem podcast Giancarlo Grignaschi interviews Luiza Bialasiewicz  (University of Amsterdam) and Prof. Oskar Josef Gstrein (University of Groningen). They discussed the latest proposal of the European Commission – vaccination passports (or certificates). 

DI and RevDem Event: What Price the Rule of Law?

On 25 January the CEU Democracy Institute hosted Commissioner Didier Reynders and MEP Katalin Cseh for a debate on the new EU Regulation on Rule of Law conditionality. In this first editorial of the RevDem Rule of Law section, editor Oliver Garner and assistant editor Teodora Miljojkovic reflect on the implications for constitutional democracy of the impression that the Rule of Law comes at a price.

Myanmar After the Coup

In a conversation with Assistant Editor Gaurav Mukherjee, Melissa Crouch discusses the rapidly evolving situation involving the military coup in Myanmar on 1 February 2021. 

Academic Freedom and the Rule of Law

In the latest RevDem Rule of Law podcast, Oliver Garner interviews Professor Nandini Ramanujam, Full Professor (Professional) at the Faculty of Law of McGill University and the Co-Director of the Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, where she supervises the academic freedom monitoring clinic.

For what does democracy need political parties?

Jan-Werner Müller, in an interview with Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič, talks about the functions of contemporary political parties, the role of the constitutional courts and the future of European Christian  Democracy.

The Politics of Antipopulism

The mainstream media and academia as well as political elites identify populist movements as the most important threat to the current liberal democratic regime. Populist actors have indeed unsettled and begun reshaping the European political landscape.

To Protect Academic Freedom, Stop Rule of Law Backsliding

Rule of Law and academic freedom are cherished political ideals of the liberal tradition. Insights from our work at McGill University’s academic freedom monitoring clinic, conducted in partnership with Scholars at Risk Network, has underscored the mutually reinforcing relationship between these two notions.  

The Trump Canon of Democratic Struggle

Lozada’s book offers an answer to the problem of how we discursively resisted Trump’s presidency. Review by Katarzyna Krzyżanowska

We’ve Gotten the Ogre Out of the Way

Samuel Moyn in an interview with RevDem editor Katarzyna Nowicka talks about the legacy of Donald Trump and the presidency of Joe Biden.

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