The populist upsurge in the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe and in established democracies like the United States, has exposed the political vulnerability of rule of law as a cornerstone of liberal democracy. It is not just in authoritarian populist states that the independence of judges and the authority of law have come under attack in the name of a majoritarian conception of democracy. This suggests that the rule of law has always stood in a relation of tension with other principles of democracy, including majority rule and an independent media. The lecture explores these renewed political pressures on rule of law, using contemporary examples drawn from the US, the UK and Hungary.
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