Event Archive: 2018-2019

Did you miss a Clough Center event? Explore our archive below for past event information and visit our YouTube page for videos of recent conferences and lectures. 



"Technocratic Governments" with Nicola Lupo

Tuesday, September 4, 2018
12:00 p.m.

10 Stone Ave, Room 201
Boston College



Friday, September 21— Saturday, September 22, 2018
Barat House
Law Campus, Boston College

This event is co-sponsored by the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy and the Boston College Law School.


"The Transition from Democracy to Tyranny Through the Fraudulent Use of Democratic Institutions: The Case of Venezuela" with Professor Allan R. Brewer-Carias

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
12:00 p.m.

10 Stone Ave. Room 201
Boston College


The Clough Fellows Welcome Reception

Tuesday, October 2, 2018
5:00 p.m.


"The Protection of Human Rights by the Inter-American Court: Main Challenges and Perspectives" with Professor Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor, President of the Interamerican Court of Human Rights

Thursday, October 11, 2018
5:00 p.m.

Barat House
Boston College Law School  

Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor is the President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, where he has been a Judge since 2013. Judge Ferrer Mac-Gregor is a recognized Mexican jurist who works as principal researcher in the Institute of Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and professor of the Faculty of Law.

He worked in the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico and held different positions at the Judicial Branch. He is the President of the Latin American and Mexican Institutes of Constitutional Procedural Law and member of more than twenty academic and scientific associations. Author of numerous publications on constitutional, procedural, judicial remedies and human rights. Judge Ferrer Mac-Gregor was visiting professor in leading Universities of Latin America, Europe and the United States. He holds a J.S.D. from the University of Navarra, Spain, with studies in Human Rights at the Institut International des Droits de l'Homme, Strasbourg, France, and holds a Bachelor of Law and Doctor Honoris Causa by the Autonomous University of Baja California.



Electoral Integrity and Constitutional Democracy in Latin America

Thursday, November 1—Friday, November 2, 2018

2101 Commonwealth Avenue*
Boston College

Constitutional democracy has as a necessary condition the periodic election of governments through competitive, legitimate and transparent elections. To guarantee these democratic elections, it is essential to have clear electoral rules and institutions that enforce these rules. Democratic elections under the Rule of Law are a guarantee of the exercise of political rights.

However, not every electoral system guarantees reliable and fair elections. For an electoral process to fulfill these conditions, it is essential to comply with a series of minimum standards that guarantees the exercise of the right to vote before, during and after the election, under criteria of electoral integrity and electoral accountability. Therefore, it is important to determine those minimum standards that an electoral process must observe in order to be effective and express faithfully the vote of the majority.

Experience has shown that the weaker the electoral system, the greater the lack of democracy and Rule of Law because there is no guarantee of a legitimate government elected under transparent conditions, stable and respectful of the law and the necessity for political rights to be exercised properly. Consequently, authoritarian regimes sometimes use the electoral process without fair conditions in order to seize or retain power in a non-democratic way. In such cases, electoral authoritarianism is a relevant risk for constitutional democracy.

Latin America is a developing region where it is necessary to study the relationship between its democratic standards, the Rule of Law and the electoral systems of its countries, in order to determine which electoral conditions should be improved and how to do that, to achieve better governance. Likewise, it is necessary to study the nature of electoral behavior in Latin America, from the legal perspective of the electoral process, the participation level of citizens and political parties, and the way that electoral conflicts are resolved.

Since 2017 and continuing through 2019 Latin America will have an “electoral marathon”: 11 countries will hold elections, most of them to run for President: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Bolivia. This situation provides a great opportunity to analyze the current electoral integrity levels in Latin America, by examining the development of those recent elections, and their main strengths and especially their weaknesses. Such a review would do much to achieve more electoral competitiveness and integrity and in consequence, better constitutional democracy levels.

Video below is the first of 8. Follow link to YouTube for the rest.


2018 Midterm Elections with Professor David Hopkins

Monday, November 5, 2018
12 p.m.

10 Stone Ave, Room 201
Boston College

David A. Hopkins joined the Boston College political science department in 2010. His research and teaching interests include American political parties and elections, the U.S. Congress, voting behavior, public opinion, and research methods.

His latest book, Red Fighting Blue: How Geography and Electoral Rules Polarize American Politics(Cambridge University Press, 2017), demonstrates how the rise of the culture war, in combination with winner-take- all voting rules, has produced a regionally divided electorate and an ideologically divided party system in the United States. His previous book, Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats (Oxford University Press, 2016), co-authored with Matt Grossmann, investigates the ways in which the two major American political parties think differently about politics, rely on distinct sources of information, appeal to voters on different grounds, and choose unique governing styles. He is also the co-author of Presidential Elections: Strategies and Structures of American Politics (with Nelson W. Polsby, Aaron Wildavsky, and Steven E. Schier, Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and his research has appeared in Perspectives on Politics, Polity, and American Politics Research. He is the author of a forthcoming book analyzing the causes and consequences of geographic polarization in American national elections that will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.

Professor Hopkins has written about contemporary political issues for news outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Vox, and he frequently serves as an expert commentator on American politics for international, national, and Boston-area media organizations. He blogs regularly about current events at honestgraft.com and can be found on Twitter at @DaveAHopkins.


Access to Justice in Brazil and the US

Thursday, November 15, 2018
Stuart Hall, Room 402
Boston College Law School


Brazil and the U.S. both seek to increase access to justice. Each country has sought innovations in achieving this goal in a variety of ways, including free legal representation, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, regulatory approaches, procedural tools, court reforms, technological tools. Brazil has tended to focus especially on free representation, while the U.S. has focused more on alternate mechanisms of promoting justice. This event will bring together experts from each country who will compare the U.S. and Brazilian experiences, including the respective costs and benefits in each system, so as to learn from, evaluate, and propose improvements to access to justice.

  • Kazuo Watanabe, Professor of Civil Procedural Law, University of São Paulo; retired Judge, Court of Justice of the State of Sāo Paulo; partner, Trench Rossi Watanabe
  • Christine Santini, Judge, Court of Justice of the State of São Paulo
  • Marcus V.K. Onodera, Judge, Court of Justice of the State of Sāo Paulo
  • Samuel Brasil, Associate Justice, Espirito Santo State Supreme Court
  • Justice Robert Cordy, Rappaport Distinguished Visiting Professor
  • Susan M. Finegan, Esq., Co-Chair, Access to Justice Commission; Chair, Pro Bono Committee, Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo, PC
  • Renee L. Danser, Esq., Associate Director of Research and Strategic Partnerships, Access to Justice Lab, Harvard Law School
  • Professor Claire Donohue, JD, MSW, BC Law
  • Russell Engler, Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs, New England Law Boston

12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Panel 1: Benefits and Challenges of Government-paid Civil Representation. Learn about Brazil’s experience and U.S. proposals. Lunch will be served.

  • Judge Christine Santini
  • Russel Engler
  • Moderator: Susan M. Finegan

1:30p.m.-3:30 p.m. Panel 2: Thinking Innovatively about A2J (pro bono and reduced-price representation, ADR, A2J Commissions, Consumer Law/Consumer Regulation, AI and technology, alternate means of providing service (expanded paralegal and self-help services, etc.))

  • Judge Kazuo Watanabe
  • Judge Marcus Onodera
  • Justice Robert Cordy
  • Susan M. Finegan
  • Prof. Claire Donohue
  • Renee Danser
  • Justice Samuel Brasil

3:30 p.m. Reception


Politics after Bolsonaro's Election: Brazil and Latin America

Monday, November 19, 2018
10 Stone Ave, 2nd Floor

Professor Paulo BarrozoBoston College Law School

Professor Pablo RiberiUniversitad Catolica de Cordoba, Argentina, & Clough Distinguished Global Fellow



Ruthless, Militant, Round: On Melville and the Aesthetics of Radical Democracy with Jennifer Greiman, Associate Professor of English at Wake Forest University

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019
Devlin 101

Hosted by the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy, with support from the English Department

Jennifer Greiman is Associate Professor of English at Wake Forest University; she is the author of Democracy’s Spectacle: Sovereignty and Public Life in Antebellum American Writing (Fordham University Press, 2010) and the co-editor, with Paul Stasi, of The Last Western: Deadwood and the End of American Empire (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013).  She is also the co-editor, with Kir Kuiken, of a special issue of the journal Postmodern Culture on the work of Etienne Balibar, “The Citizen Subject Revisited” (2013).  Selections from her current book project, Melville’s Ruthless Democracy, have appeared in The New Cambridge Companion to Herman MelvilleJ19: The Journal of Nineteenth-century Americanists, and Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies.


Clough Distinguished Lecture in Jurisprudence: Professor Alexander Somek (University of Vienna)

Monday, February 11th, 2019
Barat House

Alexander Somek is Professur für Rechtsphilosophie und Methodenlehre der Rechtswissenschaften (Professor of Philosophy and Methodology of Law) at the University of Vienna and a a Global Affiliated Professor of Law at Iowa.  From 2003 to 2015, he was a tenured member of the Iowa Law faculty, holding the Charles E. Floete Chair in Law. 

Professor Somek is a prolific scholar in the fields of jurisprudence, EU law, comparative constitutional law, and public international law.  He has been a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin), a LAPA fellow and visiting professor at Princeton University, and a visiting professor at the London School of Economics.

For more information about Professor Somek, click here.


Climate change: Science, Impacts, and Solutions: Dr. Phillip Duffy (Woods Hole Research Center)

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019
5:30 p.m. | Higgins 310

Dr. Duffy is a physicist who has devoted his career to the use of science in addressing climate change. He frequently speaks on climate issues to public and specialized audiences, including philanthropic funders and professional investors. He also frequently engages policymakers, including delegates at the United Nations climate conferences, and the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology where he testified in 2018. Dr. Duffy is frequently quoted by outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Science, the Boston Globe, NPR, CNN, and MSNBC. He has served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences and has advised state and local policymakers. Dr Duffy is particularly interested in working with diverse groups to address climate change, and has formed a coalition with Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, the Archbishop of Boston, to organize faith leaders and scientists dedicated to addressing climate change.

Prior to joining WHRC, Dr. Duffy served as a Senior Advisor in the White House National Science and Technology Council, and as a Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In these roles he was involved in international climate negotiations, domestic and international climate policy, and coordination of US global change research. Before joining the White House, Dr. Duffy was Chief Scientist for Climate Central, an organization dedicated to increasing public understanding and awareness of climate change. Dr. Duffy has held senior research positions with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and visiting positions at the Carnegie Institution for Science and the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. He has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford.


Consent, Coercion and Democracy:
Trade & Foreign Relations in the Trump Era

Thursday, March 14th, 2019
4:30 PM
Barat House, Boston College Law School

Frank J. Garcia joined the BC Law faculty in 2001. He had been an associate professor at the Florida State University College of Law since 1993. He has served as a Visiting Professor at a number of schools around the world including the University of Paris, the University of New South Wales in Sydney, the University of the Republic in Uruguay, the University of Houston Law Center, and as the Katherine A. Ryan Distinguished Visiting Professor at the St. Mary's University School of Law/University of Innsbruck, Austria.


Anders Fogh Rasmussen Lecture

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019
Clough Colloquium, Winston Center
4:00pm in Robsham Theater

Doors will open at 3:30 PM. Seating is based on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been at the center of European and global politics for three decades as Secretary General of NATO, Prime Minister of Denmark, Danish Minister of Economic Affairs, and a leading Danish parliamentarian.

Rasmussen has advocated for stronger ties between the world’s democracies, including a truly “Integrated Transatlantic Community,” a Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement between the EU and North America, and a global community of democracies.

He is the founder of Rasmussen Global which advises clients on a wide range of issues such as international security, transatlantic relations, the European Union, and emerging markets. In his latest book, The Will To Lead: America’s Indispensable Role in the Global Fight for Freedom (September, 2016), Rasmussen argues that western democracies with the steadfast leadership of the United States must stand up to authoritarianism around the world.


Constitutional Rights of Corporations Conference

Thursday, March 21st, 2019
1:00pm - 6:00pm
Barat House, Boston College Law School Campus



The Rise of Illiberal Member States within the EU, and How to Cope with Them?

Monday, March 25th, 2019
12:00 pm (Lunch will be served)
10 Stone Ave. Room 201
Boston College

Speaker:  Gábor Halmai (European University Institute, Florence) 

Appointed in September 2016 as Professor and Chair of Comparative Constitutional Law, and in January 2018 as Director of Graduate Studies at the Law Department. His primary research interests are comparative constitutional law and international human rights. He has published several books and articles, as well as edited volumes on these topics in English, German and Hungarian. He joined EUI in 2016 after a teaching and research career (at the Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary, Princeton University in the USA, the European Masters Program in Human Rights and Democratization in Italy) as well as years of professional career as chief advisor to the President of the Hungarian Constitutional Court, member of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s Management Board and numerous other civic activities.


Human Rights in Aid of Development in Jinxed Africa

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Barat House, Boston College Law School 

Speaker: Raymond Atuguba (University of Ghana)

Raymond Akongburo ATUGUBA is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Ghana School of Law, where he has taught since 2002. After his first law degree from the University of Ghana (1997) and his call to the Ghana Bar (1999), he received both his Master of Laws (LL.M) and Doctor of Juridical Sciences (SJD) Degrees from Harvard Law School in 2000 and 2004. He has been a Visiting Scholar and Visiting Professor at University of Nottingham in the UK, Harvard in the USA, Ku Leuven University in Belgium, Université Sciences Po in France, and Monash University, Australia.

Prof. Atuguba has researched and published extensively, mostly in relation to the intersection of law, human rights, policy, governance, the politics and economics of development, institutions and institutional change. He has written over 100 monographs, articles, book chapters, research reports and technical papers on issues of Public Policy, Constitutionalism, Human Rights, Law and Development, and Institutional Renewal in Africa. He has also presented over 200 papers on these subjects at national and international conferences in all continents of the world, including expert papers to the leadership of Parliament and to Parliamentary Committees in Africa, and facilitated dozens of training workshops.


Citizenship and Residency in the Age of Technology

Monday, April 1st, 2019
12:00 pm | East Wing 100 at the BC Law School
Lunch will be served

Speaker: Dimitry Kochenov

The Clough Center, the Internet Law Society, and the International Law Society are proud to welcome Professor Dimitry Kochenov of the University of Groningen back to Boston College Law School for a discussion on how technology is reshaping our conversations around citizenship and residency. As one of the world’s foremost experts on European and citizenship law, Professor Kochenov is uniquely qualified to lead an in-depth conversation on their evolving definitions and how different concepts are expanding around the globe. Lunch  will be served. We hope to see you there!

Professor Dimitry Kochenov of the University of Groningen is an expert in citizenship, nationality and immigration law and constitutional law of the European Union with a particular emphasis on the Rule of Law and other key principles of EU law, EU external relations law, and EU Law of the Overseas: the former colonial possessions and their upgraded ties with the European Union. 

Co-sponsored with Internet Law Society and the International Law Society


The Free Formation of Political Will

Judge Klemen Jaklič
Constitutional Court of Slovenia

Tuesday April 9, 2019 | 3:00-5:00 pm
Open only to current BC law faculty, students, staff and fellows.


Democracies in Peril

Friday, April 12-Saturday, April 13, 2019
Boston College Conference Center
2101 Commonwealth Avenue
Brighton Campus

According to The Economist's "democracy index," 2017 was the worst year for the decline of democracy since they started the index in 2006. Everywhere one looks, it seems as if liberal democracy is in crisis. What does this mean for the present and future? How real is this crisis, really? Is it simply "froth" on the surface of the news cycle? Or is there something deeper going on? And if so, what are those deeper factors? If there is a crisis, how global is it? Does it threaten consolidated democracies as well as more recent or marginal democratic regimes?

This interdisciplinary conference brings together leading scholars from the United States, Europe, and Asia to consider these questions. The goal is to take stock of the current crisis of liberal democracy and the rise of illiberal populism around the globe. Conference presenters and roundtable panelist will discuss the current crisis in a global framework, assessing the current health of democracy around the world, and offering theoretical and analytical frameworks for how to understand the fate of democracy moving forward.

Friday, April 12, 2019

9:20 a.m.


Dean Gregory Kalscheur S.J., Morrissey College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Vlad Perju, Director, Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy

9:30 a.m.

Presentation, Pippa Norris, Harvard University:
Varieties of Populism

10:45 a.m.Coffee Break
11:00 a.m.Roundtable Discussion: Populism and Democracy?

Participants: Jan-Werner Müller, Princeton University; Jim Cronin, Boston College; Amílcar Antonio Barreto, Northeastern University

Moderator: Katharine Young, Boston College

12:30 p.m.Break
1:30 p.m.
Presentation, Ipek Cinar, University of Chicago: 
“The Populist Toolkit: Authoritarian Rhetoric on Democratic Discourse”
2:45 p.m.Coffee Break
3:00 p.m.
Roundtable Discussion: Alternatives to Democracy (Confucianism, Political Islam, etc.)

Participants: Mirjam Künkler, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study; Sungmoon Kim, City University of Hong Kong; Justin Frosini, Bocconi University

Moderator: Vlad Perju, Boston College

4:30 p.m.Coffee Break
4:45 p.m.

Keynote Address, Jan-Werner Müller, Princeton University

“What Exactly is the ‘Crisis of Democracy’ a Crisis of?”

Chair: Devin Pendas, Boston College


Saturday, April 13, 2019

9:30 a.m.
Presentation, Wolfgang Merkel, Humboldt University:
“Crisis or Challenge: Is The Crisis Of Democracy An Invention?”
10:45 a.m.

Coffee Break

11:00 a.m.
Roundtable Discussion: Democracy and Economics

Participants: Kosaku Dairokuno, Meiji University; Liubomir Topaloff, Meiji University, Devin Pendas, Boston College

Moderator: Daniela Urosa, Universidad Católica Andrés Bello Caracas, Venezuela

12:30 p.m.


1:30 p.m.
Presentation, Shujiro Yazawa, Hitotsubashi University:
Radical Change, Subjectivity, and Democracy
2:45 p.m.Break
3:00 p.mRoundtable Discussion: Is Democracy Failing?

Participants: Mark Plattner, Journal of Democracy, Mabel Berezin, Cornell University

Moderator: Devin Pendas, Boston College