Thursday 7 March 2019

The "Rule of Law" under Autocratic Populism

I am praticipating at Media Freedom and Populism in the Context of the Rule of Law workshop on 7 March 2019 at Central European University.

My lecture:The "Rule of Law" under Autocratic Populism

This short contribution puts an emphasize on the main challenge raised by autocratic populist regimes, this is the legalization of autocracy. Analysing the Orbán’s regime we can easily say that it is an undemocratic system: most of the media outlets have been centralized, the voting system serves the interests of the governing parties, the state administration has totally been politicized. Which is really frightening that these instruments are constitutionalized and the ethos of rule of law has been corrupted and destroyed. Several constitutional amendments adopted in Hungary after 2010 are unconstitutional and the whole legal systems has been drenched with this poisoning phenomenon. In my views, we have to face with the fact that Hungarian is not a democracy and there is no such a thing “rule of law under autocratic regime”. Of course, there is functioning legal system, but it is governed by the authoritarian politics. That is why we should distinguish between rule of law and rule by law. The rule by law is a way how the political sphere (the Political) overrules the legal system.

The paper is availabel on my

The programme of the event
A global revival of populism can be observed in the recent years. Is the governments' populist rhetoric in necessary correlation with a backslide in rule of law? Populism is often coupled with official state propaganda, which entails suppression of media freedom and pluralism. The new media environment offers new tools to manipulate the audience with disinformation, targeted political advertising, and aggressive dissemination techniques. How do these impact the democratic process and the rule of law?The conference is the closing event of the CEPS Engage Fellowship Program 2019, which takes a rule of law approach to the policy domains of Rights, Security and Economics, connects academic, civil society and think tank actors from Central and Eastern European and Western Balkans countries with EU-level policy debates, and is run by CEPS and OSI for Europe (OSIFE).

14.30-14.55 Keynote Speech: “Beyond Populism: The Politics of Unscrupulousness, Hypocrisy, and Cynicism” András Bozóki, Professor of Political Science at CEU 

14.55-15.05 Introduction of the Engage Fellowship Roberto Cortinovis, Researcher at CEPS Justice and Home Affairs

15.05-16.35 Media Freedom: Populistic Rhetoric and Propaganda 
Moderator: András László Pap, Head of Research Department for the Study of Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law 
Miklós Haraszti, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media from 2004 to 2010, author, professor and human rights promoter, Fellow at CMDS
Miklós Sükösd, Associate Professor at University of Copenhagen, Dept. of Media, Cognition and Communication
Benjamin De Cleen, Assistant Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel Communication Studies Department, Fellow at CMDS 
Péter Bajomi-Lázár, Associate Professor of Media and Communications, Budapest Business School 
Judit Bayer, Associate Professor of Media Law, Budapest Business School 

16.35-16.50 Coffee break

16.50-18.30 The Rule of Law in the EU, in the Eastern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans 
Moderator:Maria Repko, Deputy Executive Director at Center for Economic Strategy
Petra Bárd, Associate Professor at ELTE Law School, Budapest, CEU
Attila Antal, Associate Professor at ELTE Law School, Budapest: The "Rule of Law" under Autocratic Populism 
Naim Rashiti, Executive Director, Balkans Policy Research Group 
Thaqi Berat, Policy Analyst at The Institute for Advanced Studies GAP 
Denis Cenusa, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Giessen