Revisiting the Dark Legacies of Illiberalism: Varieties of Constitutionalism and Legal-Political Practices in Post-Authoritarian Europe


Rosensäle at Friedrich Schiller University Fürstengraben 27 | 07743 Jena

Date: 2-3 December 2022

In-person, no pre-registration needed

Until recently, the model of “constitutional tolerance” that allowed for a plurality of constitutional traditions within EU was understood as a strength. Not anymore. The constitutional transformation of Hungary and Poland towards authoritarian regimes in recent years has undermined the belief that despite the plurality there is a constitutional core shared by all member states allowing for mediation of conflicts and preserving the basic shared principles and values of EU as liberal democratic community. Today this diversity of constitutional orders is seen rather as a possible existential threat to both the EU and liberal democracy in Europe.

This conference aims to rethink the so-called ‘dark legacies’ of past illiberal legal systems in Europe and their implications for the present day.

The conference is a part of the VW-Stiftung funded project “Towards Illiberal Constitutionalism in East Central Europe: Historical Analysis in Comparative and Transnational Frame/Perspective” This project aims to enhance historical, interdisciplinary, and comparative perspectives in scholarly engagement with illiberal and authoritarian challenges to constitutional democracy in ECE situating the present-day conflicts in the longer history of the ebb and flow of constitutionalism, democracy, legality and pluralism in the region. Focusing primarily on the era of late state socialism, post-communist liberal transformation, into the current illiberal challenge to constitutional democracy, the project situates these regional developments within broader European and global transnational perspectives.