Academic Advisory Board

The Academic Advisory Board (AAB) brings the valuable perspectives of academics who study democracy, human rights and related subjects to the work of the Community of Democracies.

Under the leadership of Dr. Wojciech Sadurski, a professor of jurisprudence at The University of Sydney, the Academic Advisory Board produces policy papers and reports on its own initiative on the Community’s priority issues. It also supports the Permanent Secretariat and other bodies by providing on-demand expertise on a variety of topics.

The AAB was established in 2010 and restructured in 2016. It includes 17 distinguished scholars affiliated with some of the world’s most prestigious universities and research institutes. They are experts in the fields of democratization studies, political change, modernization and development, comparative politics, good governance, human rights, rule of law, gender politics and response to national and transnational threats and challenges to democracy.

Members of the Academy Advisory Board are nominated for a period of four years, approved by the Permanent Secretariat, with the possibility of reappointment.


Members of the Academic Advisory Board

Wojciech Sadurski

Wojciech Sadurski is Challis Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney and a Professor of the University of Warsaw. He has previously held a professorship at the European University Institute in Florence, and he has taught most recently at Yale Law School, New York University School of Law, Cardozo Law School in New York, the University of Toronto, and the University of Trent.

He is a member of a number of supervisory or program boards, including the Institute of Public Affairs (Poland), the Freedom of Press Observatory (Poland), and the Centre for International Affairs (Poland). Chair of the Academic Advisory Board of the Community of Democracies, he has written extensively on the philosophy of law, political philosophy, and comparative constitutional law.

His most recent books include Constitutionalism and the Enlargement of Europe (OUP 2012) and Equality and Legitimacy (OUP 2008).

Nina Belyaeva

Nina Belyaeva is a Russian scholar, civil and political activist. She is a professor and Head of the Public Policy Department at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE) in Moscow, Russia. She is also the founder of Russian Political Science Association.

During her career, she taught courses on political science and law in the universities of Georgetown, Colorado (USA), Salzburg (Austria), and Cape Town (South Africa). Since 2000, Ms Belyaeva has been working at the Higher School of Economics. She is also a member of the HSE Scientific Council, and academic head of the Master program “Political Analysis and Public Policy”, which is the only public policy program in Russia taught in English.

Hugh Corder

Hugh Corder has been the Professor of Public Law at the University of Cape Town since 1987. He is a graduate of Cape Town, Cambridge and Oxford universities. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Law in Cape Town from 1999 to 2008, was elected as a Fellow of the university in 2004, and has written or edited twelve books and about 90 articles and chapters in books.

The main focus of his research and publications has been the judicial branch of government and administrative justice. Professor Corder has throughout his career played a prominent role in non-governmental organisations resisting injustice under apartheid, opposing the death penalty and seeking the establishment of the rule of law, both in South Africa and the surrounding region. He was part of a team of four which drafted South Africa’s first bill of rights, in 1939.

Bidyut Chakrabarty

Since the completion of his doctoral studies at the London School of Economics in 1985, Professor Bidyut Chakrabarty has been associated with teaching and research in various aspects of Political Science, including the rise and consolidation of democracy in India which neither conforms to the classical conceptualization of democracy nor is derivative of the well-established Western theoretical discourses.

He has taught in some of the most prestigious educational institutions such as London School of Economics, UK; Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta, India; Monash University, Australia; National University of Singapore, Singapore; and Hamburg University, Germany.

Larry Diamond

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He also serves as the Peter E. Haas Faculty Director of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford. For more than six years, he directed FSI’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, and he continues to lead its programs on Liberation Technology, Arab Reform and Democracy, and Democracy in Taiwan. He is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy and also serves as Senior Consultant at the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. His sixth and most recent book, In Search of Democracy (Routledge, 2016), explores the challenges confronting democracy and democracy promotion, gathering together three decades of his work on democratic development, particularly in Africa and Asia. He has also edited or co-edited more than 40 books on democratic development around the world.

At Stanford University, Diamond is also professor by courtesy of political science and sociology, and is a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. He teaches courses on comparative democratic development, democracy promotion, and US foreign policy, and advises many Stanford students. In May 2007, he was named “Teacher of the Year” by the Associated Students of Stanford University for teaching that “transcends political and ideological barriers.” In January 2014 he received the Richard W. Lyman Award for service to the Stanford Alumni Association.

During 2002-3, Diamond served as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and was a contributing author of its report Foreign Aid in the National Interest. He has also advised and lectured to the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies dealing with governance and development. During the first three months of 2004, Diamond served as a senior adviser on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. On his return, he wrote and lectured extensively on U.S. policy in Iraq and the wider challenges of post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction, and was one of the advisors to the Iraq Study Group. His 2005 book, Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, was one of the first books to critically analyze America’s postwar engagement in Iraq. He has also participated in several working groups on the Middle East and has collaborated with Abbas Milani in organizing a Hoover Institution Project on Democracy in Iran.

Diamond is the author of The Spirit of Democracy (2008), Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation (1999), Promoting Democracy in the 1990s (1995), and Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria (1989, and recently republished in Nigeria). Among his recent edited books are Democracy in Decline?, Democratization and Authoritarianism in the Arab World, Will China Democratize?, and Liberation Technology: Social Media and the Struggle for Democracy, all edited with Marc F. Plattner, and Politics and Culture in Contemporary Iran, with Abbas Milani. With Juan J. Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset, he edited the series, Democracy in Developing Countries, which helped to shape a new generation of comparative study of democratic development.


João Carlos Espada

João Carlos Espada is the director and founder (1996) of the Institute for Political Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal, where he is University professor of Political Studies. He was previously a tenured Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences of the (state) University of Lisbon. Since January 2011, he holds the European Parliament / Bronisław Geremek European Civilisation Chair at the College of Europe, campus of Natolin (Warsaw). He earned his D.Phil from the University of Oxford, under the supervision of [Lord] Ralf Dahrendorf, and he taught at Brown, Stanford and Georgetown Universities in the US. He is editor of the quarterly journal Nova Cidadania and president of the Portuguese section of the International Churchill Society/Churchill Centre. He has co-founded and is a member of the Board of Directors the European Partnership for Democracy, as well as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Democracy, having been a founding member of World Movement for Democracy and member of the steering committee of the Council for a Community of Democracies.

He has authored nine books and edited another ten in political theory, all in Portuguese and several in English. He has contributed regular opinion columns to the press since 1985, presently having a weekly column at the daily newspaper Público. He was political adviser to the President of the Portuguese Republic, Prof. Aníbal Cavaco Silva, during his first presidential term (2006-2011), having held a similar position during the first presidential term of Mr. Mário Soares (1986-91). He is a member of the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon, of the Naval Academy and of the International Academy of Portuguese Culture. In January 2012, he was awarded the Bene Merito Distinction by the Republic of Poland, this being “the highest civil recognition given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to people whose contribution to Poland is exceptional”. In June 2010, he was awarded The Medal of Gratitude by the European Solidarity Centre, based at Gdansk, in “appreciation of [his] involvement in organizing assistance for Solidarity and support for Poles facing an authoritarian government”. In 1996, he was awarded the title of “Grande Oficial da Ordem do Mérito” by the President of the Republic of Portugal, Mr. Mário Soares.

Aleksandra Gliszczynska-Grabias

Senior Researcher at the Poznań Human Rights Centre, Institute of Law Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Dr. Gliszczyńska-Grabias specializes in the fields of anti-discrimination law, constitutional law, freedom of speech vs. hate speech and memory laws. She authored a book on Combating Antisemitism: International Law Instruments (in Polish, Wolters Kluwer 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, articles and commentaries on international and regional human rights systems, anti-discrimination law, and the related issues.

She frequently prepares analyses and expert reports for the Polish Parliament, EU Fundamental Rights Agency and various NGOs. In addition, she actively participates in various civil society activities to combat discrimination and hate speech, and is a frequent speaker in media on those issues.

Dalia Leinarte

Dalia Leinartehas been Professor and Director of the Gender Studies Centre at the Vilnius University since 2000. She is also a consultant of the Inter-Ministerial Commission on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men in Lithuania. In addition, she is a member of the Working Group for Action Plan for the Implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

Over the past 10 years she has been a panellist for many conferences, as an expert in the gender equality field. Her teaching and research areas are: family history, women’s history, women’s movements; women and nationalisms; women and totalitarian regimes; trafficking of women; and gender mainstreaming.

Soledad Loaeza

Soledad Loaeza is a Professor of Politics at El Colegio de México. She has worked extensively on democratization, political parties and political conservatism. Her most recent publication is La Restauración de la Iglesia católica en la Transición Mexicana, México, El Colegio de México, 2013. In 2010 she was awarded the National Prize of Arts and Sciences.She writes a bi weekly column in the Mexico City paper La Jornada.

Leonardo Morlino

Leonardo Morlino is professor of Political Science at LUISS, Rome. He is also the President of International Political Science Association (IPSA) (2009-12). In 2004 he was awarded the Jean Monnet Chair in European Studies. He was Bechtel Visiting Professor at Stanford University, Stanford, Ca, (USA) (2002-3); Jemolo Fellow, Nuffield College, Oxford University (UK) in 1998, 2007, and 2009; visiting Professor at Institute Juan March in Madrid (Spain) in 1995-96; visiting Professor at Institute d’Etudes Politiques in Paris (France) in 1992-93, 1993-94, and 2008; and Monte dei Paschi Fellow at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford in 2010. He was co-editor of Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica from 1977 through 1991. He is the author, co-author or editor of 30 volumes and of about 200 chapters in books or articles in journals, published in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Mongolian.

His books include: Introduzione alla ricerca comparata, Bologna, Il Mulino (2005) (Spanish and French translations 2008); Democrazie e democratizzazioni, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2003 (Span. transl. 2005 and 2009); Democracy Between Consolidation and Crisis. Parties, Groups, and Citizens in Southern Europe, Oxford, Oxford University Press 1998 (Italian translation 2008); Como cambian los regimenes politicos, Madrid, CEC, 1985; Dalla democrazia all’autoritarismo. Il caso spagnolo in prospettiva comparata, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1981.

Among his most recent co-authored or edited books there are: Democratization and the European Union. Comparing Central and Eastern European post-communist countries, London, Routledge (2010); Rule of Law and Democracy, Boston, Brill (2010); International Actors, Democratization and the Rule of Law: Anchoring Democracy?, London, Routledge, 2008 (paperback 2009); Party Change in Southern Europe, London, Routledge, 2007; Partiti e caso italiano, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2006; Europeizzazione e rappresentanza territoriale. Il caso italiano, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2006; Assessing the Quality of Democracy. Theory and Empirical Analysis, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005; and Fondamenti di Scienza politica, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2004. Changes for democracy is his last book just published with Oxford University Press, in addition of being one of the editors of the International Encyclopaedia of Political Science, 8 vols, Sage Publications, 2011. In collaboration of a large network of other scholars, he is directing a comparative research on “The quality of Democracy in Latin America” on 18 Latin American countries.

Tamir Moustafa

Tamar Moustafa is Associate Professor of International Studies and Stephen Jarislowsky Chair at Simon Fraser University. His research stands at the intersection of comparative law and society, religion and politics, and state-society relations, all with a regional focus on the Middle East and, more recently, Southeast Asia. Moustafa’s first major project focused on the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court, and the politics of courts in authoritarian regimes more generally. This culminated in the publication of The Struggle for Constitutional Power: Law, Politics, and Economic Development in Egypt (Cambridge University Press 2007) and Rule by Law: The Politics of Courts in Authoritarian Regimes (Cambridge University Press 2008, edited with Tom Ginsburg).

His current research explores the public debates that are generated as a result of dual constitutional commitments to Islamic law and liberal rights in Egypt and Malaysia. In both countries, constitutional provisions enshrining Islamic law and liberal rights lay the seeds for legal friction, and courtrooms serve as important sites of contention between groups with competing visions for their states and societies. The project explores how litigation provokes and shapes competing conceptions of national and religious identity, resolves or exacerbates contending visions of Islamic law, and ultimately bolsters or undermines public perceptions of government legitimacy.

Moustafa’s research has been funded through the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). He has held visiting fellowships at UC Berkeley, Princeton University, and Harvard Law School and was named a Carnegie Scholar in 2007 for his work on Islamic law and liberal rights. He currently serves as a Trustee for the Law and Society Association.

Sejal Parmar

Seal Parmar is Assistant Professor at the Department of Legal Studies and a core faculty member of the Center for Media, Data and Society at the School of Public Policy at the Central European University, Budapest. Her main field of expertise and research is international human rights law, particularly on freedom of expression. She has published on a range of human rights issues and is currently developing a monograph on the capacity of the international human rights system to develop and deliver effective responses to a range of contemporary challenges to freedom of expression. She regularly acts as an expert and consultant to intergovernmental organizations (including the Council of Europe, the OSCE and UNESCO) and is also a current member of the Advisory Committee of Universal Rights Group.

Prior to coming to CEU in 2012, she served as Senior Legal Officer at ARTICLE 19, the leading international human rights NGO on freedom of expression. She has previously held visiting lectureships at Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Edinburgh, research positions at New York University (EU-US Fulbright and Marie Curie Fellow) and the Amsterdam Center for International Law (Marie Curie Fellow), and has interned at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the UN Headquarters. She holds degrees from the LSE (LLB (hons) and the EUI (PhD) and has been called to the Bar of England and Wales.

Victor Perez-Diaz

Doctor in sociology from Harvard University and a doctor in law and in political sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid, Víctor Pérez Díaz (Madrid, 1938) has been a professor of sociology at Complutense University of Madrid since 1980. Over the last 50 years, Pérez-Díaz has earned academic and professional merits in the disciplines of sociology, political science and economics which accredit him as one of the leading figures in Spain in contemporary social sciences. He has directed and coordinated some of the most important social research studies and institutes in Spain, such as the National Industry Institute department of social sciences (1979), the FIES Foundation (1986), and the Juan March Study and Research Institute Centre for Advanced Social Science Studies (CEACS) (1987-1992). In these institutions, Pérez-Díaz has trained professionals in social sciences and produced and disseminated research aimed at analysing Spanish society and politics, with the aim of driving informed public debate about the issues that matter most to citizens of modern democracies. He has undertaken teaching and research activities as a visiting professor at different departments of political science, sociology and history in American and European universities including the University of San Diego, California (1983, 1987, 1991, 1992 and 1993), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1989 and 1990), Harvard University (1992), the Paris Institute of Political Sciences (1995), New York University (2000) and Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (2005).

Through stays in which he has worked on teaching and research, he has decisively contributed to establishing academic links with prestigious university institutions and social scientists in the United States and Europe. In light of this contribution and his research, he is a founding member of the European Academy (since 1988) and an honorable member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 2006). He has acted as an expert advisor at the request of public and private institutions, including the first and second Corporate Governance Commissions and more recently, has chaired the Committee of Experts on the Public Pension System Sustainability Factor. His participation in these commissions has resulted in several key reports for the discussion and adoption of political decisions, among which is the so-called Good Governance Code: Olivencia Report (1998) and the Aldama Code (2003), as well as the report on the public pension system sustainability factor (2013).

Víctor Pérez-Díaz’ academic curriculum highlights the respect and recognition he holds in Spanish and international public and private institutions. Including the merits of research, scientific management and expert advice already mentioned, he has also supervised more than a dozen doctoral theses by sociologists and political scientists who currently form part of the teaching and research personnel of various Spanish and international universities.

Alexander Trechsel

Alexander Trechsel is Professor of Political Science and currently Head of the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the EUI. He is also the first full-time holder of the Swiss Chair in Federalism and Democracy and a Faculty Fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University (since 2012-2013). He initiated and since directs the European Union Democracy Observatory (EUDO) at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the EUI. EUDO serves as a permanent observatory of democratic processes in and of the European Union, through which he directed the EU Profiler project in 2009, a pan-European Voting Advice Application for the European Parliamentary Elections, followed by euandi for the 2014 European elections.

Prof. Trechsel received his Ph.D in Political Science (1999, with distinction) from the University of Geneva. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal for Information Technology and Politics (JITP), of the USENIX Journal of ElectionTechnology and Systems (JETS) and is a board member of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) research committee on electronic democracy. Research interests: Comparative politics, political theory, federalism, democracy, European integration, political participation, Internet & politics, internet governance, IT law, constitutional law, political behavior and political communication.

Jennifer A. Widner

Jennifer Widner is Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and Director of Innovations for Successful Societies, a research program on institution building and service delivery in challenging settings. She teaches a massive open online course called Making Government Work in Hard Places (EdX) and is completing a book on the same topic, as well as a project on constitution writing. She is author of Building the Rule of Law (W. W. Norton), a study of courts and law in Africa and other developing country contexts.

She has published articles on a variety of topics in Democratization, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Development Studies, The William & Mary Law Review, Daedalus, the American Journal of International Law and other publications. Before joining the Princeton faculty in 2004-5, she taught at Harvard and the University of Michigan.

Luis Eduardo Zavala de Alba

Luis Eduardo Zavala de Alba obtained his PHD in International Law from Santa Sede and a master’s degree in international law and human rights from the University of Essex (Colchester, United Kingdom). He was invited to the Graduate School of Public Administration and Publicy Policy (EGAP) at the “Tecnologico de Monterrey”.

He also collaborated with the John F. Kennedy School of Government at the Harvard University and at the Carr Centre of Public Policies and Human Rights. Since 2010, he is a visiting professor at Yale. His area of research concerns the study, analysis and evaluation of public policies in Human Rights, as well as leadership and ethic in the public service. In addition, he is also an assessor in CADHAC, where he works for victims of Human Right abuses.

Qianfan Zhang

Qianfan Zhang obtained his Ph.D. in Government from University of Texas at Austin (1999) and joined the law faculty of Peking University in 2003. He is the director of the Center for the People’s Congress and Parliamentary Studies and the senior deputy director of the Constitutional and Administrative Law Center. He is also the Vice President of the Chinese Constitutional Law Association.

Jan Zielonka

Jan Zielonka is a Professor of European Politics at the University of Oxford and a Ralf Dahrendorf Fellow at St Antony’s College. His previous appointments included posts at the University of Warsaw,  the University of Leiden and the European University in Florence. Zielonka teaches European Politics and Society and directs a large international project funded by the European Research Council on the Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe.

He has produced seventeen books, including five single author monographs, and more than a hundred articles and chapters. His work has been published in English, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Slovak, German, Italian, Spanish and French. His main areas of expertise are in Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Theory.