Legal Infrastructures of Democracy II

jointly with the 7th Annual Conference on the Legal History of the European Union

  • Start: Sep 23, 2024 08:30 AM (Local Time Germany)
  • End: Sep 24, 2024 03:00 PM
  • Location: mpilhlt
  • Room: Z01
  • Host: Basak Cali, Mikael Rask Madsen, Antoine Vauchez, Department Vogenauer
  • Contact:
Legal Infrastructures of Democracy II

Recent decades have seen unprecedented levels of pressure on democracies in Europe and elsewhere from both state and market forces. Democratically elected governments have in some countries centralized executive power, stifled democratic dissent, and weakened the independence of the judiciary. Simultaneously, the unmediated and largely market-driven development of digital technologies has allowed for major disinformation campaigns, undermining the informed decision-making capacity of both politicians and citizens.

Historically, one of the ways in which democracies have withstood the challenges from state and market has been through the counter-power of law. And yet, despite this saliency of law and legal institutions, we know surprisingly little about the collective agency of legal fields and their complex relationship to the performance -or decay - of contemporary democracies. As a result, we are left with no clear notion of the contemporary entanglements between law and democracy.

Against this backdrop, this workshop will explore the conditions and constellations through which law, legal institutions, and lawyers in today’s Europe (and beyond) effectively provide a critical infrastructure for maintaining and defending an inclusive and equally open public sphere in-between market and state pressures. The workshop aims to generate theoretical and comparative insights on this crucial question, and to provide a thicker description of the changing capacity of ‘legal infrastructures’ to contribute to the defence of the democratic potential of the ‘public sphere’ over time and from comparative perspectives.

Go to Editor View