CEU Democracy Institute and Department of Legal Studies Launch Routledge Handbook of Illiberalism

On February 8, the CEU Democracy Institute (DI) and the Department of Legal Studies co-convened the launch of the Routledge Handbook of IIliberalism with an online panel situating the volume and its intellectual project in the context of attacks on political liberalism – historic and contemporary.

Although illiberalism is most often discussed in political and constitutional terms, its study cannot be limited to such narrow frames. This Handbook comprises sixty individual chapters authored by an internationally recognized group of experts who present perspectives and viewpoints from a wide range of academic disciplines. Chapters are devoted to different facets of illiberalism, including the history of the idea and its competitors, its implications for the economy, society, government and the international order, and its contemporary iterations in representative countries and regions.

The volume was edited by DI Senior Research Fellow, founding dean of Legal Studies at CEU and Legal Studies Professor Andras Sajo, DI Co-Director and Legal Studies Professor Renata Uitz and Stephen Holmes, who is the Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law at New York University. Uitz moderated the panel, which included Sajo and Holmes, as well as book contributor Helena Rosenblatt, Professor of History at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Watch the full conversation here.

The Routledge Handbook of IIliberalism is the first authoritative reference work dedicated to illiberalism as a complex social, political, cultural, legal, and mental phenomenon. It includes chapters by contributors such as DI Research Affiliate and CEU Gender Studies Professor Andrea Peto on “Gender and Illiberalism” and DI Senior Research Fellow Martin Krygier on “Illiberalism and the Rule of Law”.

“This volume represents the spirit, core values and ethos of DI at its very best,” said DI Co-Director and CEU Political Science Professor Laszlo Bruszt, who opened the book launch emphasizing the volume’s alignment with DI’s mission and working groups. He adds, “It is devoted to genuine intellectual challenge that calls for multidisciplinary analysis, it is based on cutting edge research, it mobilizes a global network of scholars and it offers noble insights on a subject of practical significance.”

CEU President and Rector Shalini Randeria congratulated the team of editors and contributors, offering opening remarks reflecting on the plurality of the book’s topic and its stakes in relation to democracy. Contributing further introductory remarks, Mathias Möschel, Head of CEU’s Department of Legal Studies and Professor highlighted how the handbook has the potential to open new conversations and new avenues for research extending from this volume into the future.

“What makes the handbook so outstanding is the truly global reach of the inquiry and interdisciplinarity on display,” commented CEU History Professor and former President and Rector Michael Ignatieff, who supported the book project in development. During his introduction he said, “All of these disciplinary lenses have been trained on the phenomenon of illiberalism and I think the result will set the standard for academic discussion of this broad issue for years to come.”