Conference 'Power and Counterpower in Democracy'
- Friday 9 June 2023
2511 DP The Hague
In this conference 'Power and Counterpower in Democracy: Multidisciplinary Perspectives', on Thursday 9 June, we aim to explore multidisciplinary insights about what makes the checks and balances robust and what are the main factors that lead to their dismantling.
The role of checks and balances in democracies throughout time and space
The main question of this conference is: Under what conditions can checks and balances effectively restrain the power of political leaders? As both old and new democracies experience increasing democratic backsliding, there is a critical societal need to rethink the design and effectiveness of democratic checks and balances. We understand checks and balances broadly as any mechanism, formal or informal, though which the power of leaders/governments can be constrained, balanced, and contested. In this conference, we aim to explore multidisciplinary insights about what makes the checks and balances robust and what are the main factors that lead to their dismantling.
We do so in three workshops which analyse the problem from different perspectives, that bring together expertise from, among others, political science, constitutional law, public administration, political psychology, and history. Each workshop will have three presentations followed by a discussion. We will collect the insights in a conference report to be shared with all participants.
12:30-13:15 – Welcome lunch (Wijnhaven restaurant, second floor)
13:15-14:00 – Plenary introduction (room 3.60)
14:00-15:30 – Workshops (max. 20 attendees per workshop)
- Workshop 1 (room 2.58): Formal Institutions: How to Make Formal Checks More Effective
Workshop chair: Dr. Wouter Veenendaal
- Workshop 2 (room 2.59): Mind of Citizens: How and why citizens (don’t) use checks and balances?
Workshop chair: Dr. Honorata Mazepus
- Workshop 3 (room. 2.64): History of Representation: How citizens gained influence over time?
Workshop chair: Dr. Anne Heyer
15:30-16:00 – Tea/coffee break
16:00-17:00 – Keynote talk: The Deep Roots of Modern Democracy (room 2.02) by Prof. dr. John Gerring, Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin
17:00-19:00 – Borrel for workshop attendees (Wijnhaven brasserie, ground floor)
Registration and questions
Please register for this conference via this form.
Please keep in mind that the number of places is limited.
If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to Honorata Mazepus.
The conference and the lecture are organised by Dr. Honorata Mazepus (ISGA, FGGA), Dr. Anne Heyer (History, FGW) and Dr. Wouter Veenendaal (Political Science, FSW) and is the culmination of their project 'Keeping the Powerful in Check' (funded by the Leiden University Fund).
The Centre for Dutch Politics and Governance (CNPB) and the Centre for the Study of Political Parties and Representation (CSPPR) co-organise this lecture.