A Pandemic of Populists

Posted by

Wednesday, 12 October 2022, online at 6pm Sydney time

Speaker: Professor Wojciech Sadurski

With his most recent book hot off the presses in late July, this upcoming webinar will see one of the leaders of our research project, Wojciech Sadurski*, move to the speaker’s chair to discuss A Pandemic of Populists (Cambridge University Press, 2022).

‘A renowned expert in constitutionalism, Wojciech Sadurski offers a sophisticated analysis of populism as it pertains to the current situation, particularly in Poland and Hungary, but also in India, the Philippines, Brazil and Venezuela. This innovative analysis of the relationship of populists in power to courts is complemented by equally original discussion of populism in the time of COVID, and of the antidotes that might work against populists in and out of power. The book is excellent and should be read by everyone interested in the topic.’

Jean L Cohen, Columbia University

Over the last decade, the world has watched in shock as populists swept to power in free elections. From Manila to Warsaw, Brasilia to Budapest, the populist tide has shattered illusions of an inexorable march to liberal democracy.

In responding to these developments, this book eschews simplistic notions of a unified global populism, and instead unpacks the diversity and plurality of populisms. It highlights the variety of constitutional and extraconstitutional strategies that populists have used to undermine the institutional fabric of liberal democracy, and investigates how ruling populists have responded to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Outlining the rise of populisms and their governing styles, the book focuses on what populists in power do, rather than what they say

On this occasion, our discussion panel will be two of the leaders of our research project: Honorary Associate Professor Adam Czarnota and Professor Martin Krygier, both of the University of New South Wales, with guest panellist Assistant Professor Pola Cebulak, of the University of Amsterdam.

The event is free, but registration is essential to gain access to this webinar.

This session is co-hosted by the CEU Democracy Institute and our project, with the Network for Interdisciplinary Studies of Law.

*Wojciech Sadurski holds the Challis Chair in Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney, and is Professor of the Centre for Europe at the University of Warsaw; he was formerly Professor and Head of Department of Law at the European University Institute in Florence. He regularly teaches, as visiting professor, all around the world, including at Yale and New York University. Professor Sadurski is the author of several books, most recently Poland’s Constitutional Breakdown (2019) and Constitutionalism and the Enlargement of Europe (2012). His research interests include legal theory, philosophy of law, liberal political philosophy and theory of justice, constitutional theory, comparative constitutionalism, and constitutionalism of Central and Eastern Europe.