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Rule of Law

Attacks on rule of law have long been integral to democratic decay. However, today’s authoritarians often instrumentalize law and democratic norms. Most research in this field focuses on the law or politics. The Institute, by contrast, will bring together lawyers, political scientists, sociologists and political economists to explore the how the erosion of rule of law shapes national developmental models and the extent to which it varies across economic sectors or through the influence of domestic or external actors.


Dimitry Kochenov

Lead Researcher / Senior Research Fellow / CEU Professor

Angelina Atanasova

Junior Research Affiliate

Petra Bard

CEU Research Affiliate

Elena Basheska

Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Violeta Besirevic

CEU Research Affiliate

Barbara Grabowska-Moroz

Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Martin Krygier

Senior Research Fellow

Andras Laszlo Pap CEU Research Affiliate

Laurent Pech

Senior Research Fellow

Andras Sajo

Senior Research Fellow / CEU Professor

Renata Uitz

CEU Research Affiliate / CEU Professor


Research projects

Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and Rule of Law (RECONNECT)

Researchers: Petra Bard, Dimitry Vladimirovich Kochenov, Andras Sajo

RECONNECT is a four-year multidisciplinary research project on ‘Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law’, aimed at understanding and providing solutions to the recent challenges faced by the European Union (EU). With an explicit focus on strengthening the EU’s legitimacy through democracy and the rule of law, RECONNECT seeks to build a new narrative for Europe, enabling the EU to become more attuned to the expectations of its citizens. RECONNECT brings together 18 academic partner institutions from 14 countries.

Dimitry Kochenov on Danish Immigration and Naturalization Rules

Dimitry Kochenov, Lead Researcher of our Rule of Law working group gave an interview on Danish citizenship rules to the program Good Morning Europe on Euronews.

Petra Bard: A Nation (Un)Dignified

“The recent jurisprudence of Hungarian apex courts based on changes inserted into the Hungarian Fundamental Law of 2011 and the provisions of the 2013 Civil Code on “violating the dignity of the Hungarian nation” set a dangerous precedent that could be broadly applied against critics of the government, aka the EU’s first electoral autocracy,” our Research Affiliate, Petra Bard writes in her post on Verfassungsblog.

Petra Bard Quoted In The New York Times

The New York Times covered a lawsuit against a Hungarian journalist, and quoted our Research Affiliate, Petra Bard.

New Podcast: A Legal Perspective on Coronavirus Vaccination Passports

Luiza Bialasiewicz, Nikolaus Forgo, Joelle Grogan, Oskar Gstrein and Dimitry Kochenov discussed European vaccine passports and their impact on the citizens’ rights and the Rule of Law in Europe.

Academic Freedom and the Rule of Law

In the latest RevDem Rule of Law podcast, Oliver Garner interviews Professor Nandini Ramanujam on the interplay of the concepts of academic freedom and the rule of law, in both liberal and illiberal societies.

The Future of Democracy in EU Member States

Debates on the state of democracy in EU Member States have been intensifying. In a debate organized by the CEU Democracy Institute, chaired by Dimitry Kochenov and moderated by R. Daniel Kelemen, Vera Jourova, Clement Beaune and Michal Simecka addressed the question how to strengthen democracy at the national level.

The Politics of Antipopulism

Petr Agha (University of Copenhagen) reflects on the current "politics of antipopulism", tracing its roots back to the post-1989 transformation, and considers Central and Eastern Europe as a fertile testing ground for cracks in the ideology of the European project.

To Protect Academic Freedom, Stop Rule of Law Backsliding: A Look at Russia, Hungary and Poland

Nandini Ramanujam and Vishakha Wijenayake (McGill University) provide insights from their work at the academic freedom monitoring clinic on academic freedom and the Rule of Law in Russia, Poland, and Hungary.

Adding Bite to the Member States' Rule of Law Bark?

Oliver Garner interviews Professor Dimitry Kochenov on the prospects for Member State to Member State infringement actions to enforce the Rule of Law in the EU. 

Rule of Law Conditionality: The Sharpest New Tool in the Box?

In an interview with Oliver Garner, Professor Petra Bard argues that the new Regulation on budget conditionality could strengthen the EU’s enforcement prong in response to Rule of Law violations.