Institut für Politikwissenschaft



Guest Lecture: The Institutionalization of Authoritarian Judiciaries in the Arab World: Bringing Judges Halfway Back In

Nathan Brown (George Washington University) on Thursday, 07th February 2019, 18.30 h in Neue Aula (Room 236), Geschwister-Scholl-Platz

"Authoritariansm" has emerged as a residual category to include almost all non-democratic regimes. As such, the category contains a vast array of governing arrangements, many of which are strongly legalistic (at least at times) and some of of which have influential and sometimes fairly autonomous judicial structures. Emerging explanations of strong or independent judiciaries in authoritarian regimes are quite functionalist in nature: independent judiciaries are seen as emerging when they serve the function of regime maintenance. But judicial evolution can be explained at times in other ways, some of which cast judges as much as regimes as central actors. A focus on the Arab experience can show a variety of circumstances in which strong judiciaries emerge, some of which are more annoying then helpful to existing regimes.

Nathan J. Brown is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University and Director of its Middle East Studies Program. He is also Nonresident Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he received his Ph.D. from Princeton University. His research focuses on issues of constitutionalism, the rule of law, Islam and politics, and democracy in the Arab World. Professor Brown is the author of seven books, the most recent of which "Arguing Islam after the Revival of Arab Politics" was published in 2016.