International Research Collaboratives

Comparative Perspectives on Autocratic Legalism: Brazil, India, and South Africa


David Trubek, Fabio Sa e Silva, Marta Machado

Across the globe, authoritarian regimes are using law to undermine democracy and weaken political and social rights. Yet, there continues to be investments in law to resist authoritarianism and protect liberal democracy. The interdisciplinary IRC will study this complex interplay between populist authoritarianism and law in three large developing countries: Brazil, India and South Africa. We will show global trends and local variations in autocratic legalism and how autocratic ideas and practices are both diffused and resisted through law.

The organizers of this IRC created a podcast of the Project on Autocratic Legalism (PAL). PAL seeks to understand how law can be used to further, as well as to resist autocratic forces that have been on the rise around the globe. The project involves scholars from multiple countries and disciplines. PAL participants are currently conducting research on autocratic legalism in Brazil, India, and South Africa. In this podcast, we share some of the conceptual debates behind, and research findings stemming from our project. PALcast is sponsored by the Center for Brazil Studies at the University of Oklahoma and hosted by Fabio de Sa e Silva, with research and sound production provided by Ahmed Abdel-Aziz.


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