banner - WILNO

Central and Eastern European Constitutional Liberal Democracy in Crisis

5th International Workshop on Law and Ideology. 24-25 May 2018, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Expansion of populism all around the world is nowadays a subject of many academic discussions. What important to emphasize from the Central and Eastern European perspective is the fact that this problem is not typical for this of Europe. However, thanks to the constitutional liberal democracy crisis in Central and Eastern Europe, we can identify some phenomena which are appearing only in that part of the world. The third wave of democratization which was, in fact, the process of the transition from the communism to the liberal constitutional democracy, is a source of many discussions about its quality and the paths which were chosen by the political actors.

The main problem which appeared after 25 years of Central and Eastern European transition is the balance between collectivity and the individualism in the post-communist societies. The processes of the constitutional erosion and the society’s capital disappearing, identified by R. N. Bellah, are the result of the imbalance in the community, which was recognized as the main factor promoting extended individualism.

The paradox of the democratic revolutions in the Central and Eastern Europe is based on the fact that the primary factor which was stimulating them were not only individual aspirations but also the intense feeling of community limited by the political system.

It creates different problems on the different levels like culture (related to the Central and Eastern European post-communist identity) economy (implementation of neoliberal paradigm) and political collectivity. All of them are providing arguments supporting constitutional liberal democracy rejection in Central and Eastern Europe as a something entirely artificial which has no points of contact with the social reality in our part of the world.

Those three approaches are not only academic constructs, but they are also present in the public discourse. Polish and Hungarian experiences show that constitutional liberal democracy critiques are often using the same arguments justifying them by the different situations (like corruption or lack of elites change) coming from their domestic reality.

From the other side, the recent political models are in crisis not only in post-communist part of Europe but Western Europe and the United States as well. The problem of a balanced relationship between liberal individualism and the need to be a community of meanings and experiences makes it possible to raise the question of the success of liberal constitutional democracy once again.

It forced us to ask the question is the Central and Eastern liberal democracy crisis a local phenomenon or maybe a part of global processes? How deeply is located in our history and tradition and how in the problems which appeared globally?

We invite contributions exploring the global and Central and Eastern European constitutional liberal democracy crisis from various methodological perspectives, both purely theoretical and empirical, including theoretically informed case studies. Potential approaches could include, in particular, the following themes for critical reflexion:

  • individualism versus community,
  • collective experience of CEE region and global change,
  • process of implementing a liberal constitution in CEE,
  • discourse of Rights and Values,
  • source and future of constitutionalism in CEE,
  • political economics of liberal democracy,
  • political discourse about proposed reforms of liberal democracy.

Abstracts of 300-500 words should be submitted by 15 March 2018.

We will inform about acceptance of papers by 24 March 2018.
Applications should be submitted at:
Whilst there is 25 euro conference fee, all potential participants are kindly informed that we are not able to offer any scholarships.

About the International Workshops on Law and Ideology

About the International Workshops on Law and Ideology The International Workshops on Law and Ideology have been organised since 2014 jointly by the Centre for Legal Education and Social Theory (CLEST) University of Wrocław and partner institutions in other countries. The first workshop was held in May 2014 in Wrocław and was devoted to a general exploration of the of theme of ‘law and ideology’, in particular from the perspectives of Marx, Lacan, Foucault and Žižek. The second workshop, held in Sarajevo in May 2015, was co-hosted by CLEST and the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Sarajevo and was devoted to Memories of Struggles, Struggles of Memories. As selection of papers from the 1st and 2nd Workshop were published in June 2016 in the Wrocław Review of Law, Administration and Economics (volume 5, issue 1). The 3rd Workshop was organised jointly by CLEST and the Faculty of Law, University of Tbilisi and was devoted to Rule of Law and the Politics of Conflict. The previous workshop „Adjudication and Political” was organized in Timisoara (Romania). Presently, works are in progress on post-conference special issue of the Romanian Journal of Comparative Law.

Organizing committee

Oleg Bresky (European Humanities University) –
Filip Cyuńczyk (University of Warsaw) –
Karolina Kocemba (University of Wrocław) –