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PAL braces for new phase after Lisbon

The Lisbon panels and workshop indicated much interest in studies of autocratic legalism in the global sociolegal community. PAL will issue a call for papers to produce a book or series of books that take account of the emerging approaches to this matter.

After two years of remote interactions, PAL researchers had a great time at the Law & Society Association Global Meeting in Lisbon, from July 13-16, 2022.

PAL held five sessions that featured research from BISA+ (studies of autocratic legalism in Brazil, India, and South Africa, linked to comparative efforts involving Hungary and the United States).

Some of the papers presented are under consideration for publication in the VRÜ/World Comparative Law journal. The journal's editor, Philipp Dann, who teaches public and comparative law at Humboldt University, in German, also attended the panels.

PAL also held an initial open house roundtable, designed to share information on the project's history, organization, and plans with the larger socio-legal community. The full list and description of PAL activities at the Lisbon Meeting can be found here.

Following the Meeting, PAL participants remained together for a 1-day workshop, where they discussed current drafts and the project’s continuity.

Both the panels and the workshop revealed much interest, in the global sociolegal community, in furthering studies of autocratic legalism. Attendees identified a special need to focus on how processes of autocratization that build on legalistic tools and the law's legitimacy are being resisted, both within and across states. The pluralism of the field also became clear, with scholars indicating a need to look at both the institutional and the societal dimensions of autocratic legalism – and resistance to it. Among the societal dimensions discussed, there was a strong concern about how autocratic legalism – and resistance to it – has been linked to gender, race, and religion.

PAL researchers left Lisbon with a decision to continue with, and expand the project. One of the plans for such expansion involves the issuing of a call for abstracts seeking chapter proposals for a handbook or a series of books. The call will be posted on this website and advertised broadly in the sociolegal community via listservs like lsatalk.


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