15 Feb Seminar: The erosion of the rule of law in East Central Europe, Helsinki

The seminar addresses the recent problems surrounding the erosion of a liberal-oriented rule of law in Central and Eastern Europe, with a particular focus on Hungary and Poland. The policies of the Orbán and Kaczyński administrations have raised foundational, pressing questions in academia and political spheres. Who is the sovereign? What constitutes political will and the body politic? What sort of legitimacy is necessary for political cohesion and how is legitimacy built and managed? This seminar will open up room for different perspectives and narratives, placing specific regional contexts in relation to broader philosophical thought concerning the limits and possibilities of a liberal rule of law (e.g., Habermas, Kelsen, Mouffe, Schumpeter, Schmitt).

The seminar is open to everybody who is interested in the topic.

Venue: The Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki; Unioninkatu 33, Seminar Room, 2. floor

Arranger: Dawid Bunikowski, LLD in legal theory, UEF


• Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki

• Jean Monnet Programme, University of Helsinki

• Law School, University of Eastern Finland (UEF)

• The Interest Group on International Legal Theory of the European Society of International Law (IGILT ESIL)

>> Invitation (pdf)




12.00.                Welcoming with coffee, refreshments

Session I. “Practice” (Chair: Dr Heino Nyyssönen, University of Turku)

12.10.                Dr Dawid Bunikowski (IGILT ESIL/Cardiff Centre for Law and Religion), The crisis in Poland, and Schmittian questions in “the rule of law” debate

12.40.                Dr Katalin Miklossy (Aleksanteri Institute), The lack of the rule of law in the lawyers' regime: Hungary

13.10.                Dr Emilia Palonen (Department of Political and Economic Studies, University of Helsinki), Populism and polarization in Hungary

13.40.                Discussion.

14.10. Coffee break.

Session II. “Theory” (Chair: Dawid Bunikowski, Co-chair: Dr. Maria Varaki, Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights)

14.30.                Dr Walter Rech (Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki), Political Subjects and Structural Constraints

15.00.                Prof. Kaarlo Tuori (Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki), Constitutional courts, Schmitt and Kelsen

15.30.                Discussion

16.00.                Concluding remarks

Back to this years article listing