Photo of Bojan Bugarič

Professor Bojan Bugarič

Position: Professor of Law
Email Address: B.Bugaric@sheffield.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 6770


Academic Profile

I was appointed to a chair at Sheffield in September 2018. Before coming to Sheffield, I lectured at the University of Ljubljana. I have held visiting positions at the University of Trento, the University of California School of Law in Los Angeles and at the Center for European Studies, Harvard University. I teach and research in the fields of constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, public law, EU law, law and democracy and law and development, broadly conceived. I am currently working on two projects, each of which is concerned with the development of the rule of law and democracy in different comparative and institutional settings.

I studied law as an undergraduate at the University of Ljubljana, graduated (LL.M) at the UCLA,Los Angeles, and wrote my doctorate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I served as Deputy Minister at the Ministry of the Interior in the Slovenian government from 2000-2004.

Qualifications

LLB (Ljubljana)
LLM (UCLA, Los Angeles)
SJD (PH.D in Law) University of Wisconsin, Madison

Teaching and Learning

To me, teaching is primarily about presenting theories, concepts, and empirical data about law to students in a way that they can integrate this information into their own life experience. Even if it may sound dogmatic, I find the classical socratic method most helpful in this endeavor. Therefore, I limit my lectures to presentation of required concepts and doctrines, and then spend most of my class guiding students through a variety of legal puzzles, which in the end they have to answer. As most of hard legal cases imply invocation of different value judgements, ideologies, political theories, I try to teach students how to apply and understand broad and seemingly abstract notions like justice and equality in very particular contexts. Instead of clinging to dry theoretical definitions, we start with a bunch of empirical issues and puzzles and then, through questions and argumentation, try to come to legally defensible conclusions. Although there are right and wrong legal arguments, there is no bright line between the two. I try to teach students that law is as much about rules as about persuasion and passion in legal argumentation and that legal arguments can never be entirely disassociated from political or ideological doctrines.

The Modules I Teach: 

Undergraduate Postgraduate
Contemporary Issues in Law and Justice Law, Democracy and Populism
Public Law in the UK and the EU Legal Research Methods
Advanced Constitutional Law
Advanced EU Law
Law Research Paper

Research Interests

  • Constitutional Law
  • Comparative (Constitutional) Law
  • EU Law
  • Law, Democracy and Populism
  • Law and Development
  • International Trade, War and Peace

Member of the Sheffield Institute of Corporate and Commercial Law and the Sheffield Centre for International and European Law research clusters.

Areas of Research Supervision

  • Comparative Law
  • Law, Democracy, and Populism
  • International Economic Law and Development
  • EU Law

Key Publications

Articles:

  • Central Europe’s Descent into Autocracy: A Constitutional Analysis of Authoritarian Populism, International Journal of Constitutional Law, June, 2019.
  • The Two Faces of Populism: Between Authoritarian and Democratic Populism, German Law Journal, vol.20., 2019.
  • The Right to Democracy in a Populist Era, American Journal of International Law, vol.112 (2018).
  • With Tom Ginsburg: The Assault on Postcommunist Courts, Journal of Democracy, vol.27 (3), 2016.
  • Neoliberalism, Post-Communism, and the Law, Annual Review of Law and Social Science, vol.12 (1) 2016.
  • With Randall Peerenboom, The Emerging Post Washington, Post Beijing Consensus: Prospects and Pitfalls, 19 UCLA J.Int'L.L.& FOR.AFF (2015).

Chapters:

  • The Populist Backlash Against Europe: Why Only Alternative Economic and Social Policies Can Stop the Rise of Populism in Europe, in EU Law in Populist Times (Francesca Bignami ed.), Cambridge University Press, 2019 Forthcoming.

Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures (Last 2 years)

  • The Role of Law in Limiting Populism, GLJ Symposium on Populism and Constitutionalism, 25-26 April 2019, London School of Economics.
  • The Many Faces of Populism, Invited lecture. UK Constitutional Law Association Workshop, London, UCL, 7 January 2019
  • The role of law in preventing a breakdown of democracy, panel presentation, The Power of Public Law in the 21st century, ICON The Central and Eastern European Regional Chapter of the International Society of Public Law (ICON-S CEE) inaugural conference, the Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Law (ELTE) in Budapest, April 20, 2018.
  • The Populist Backlash Against Europe and the Social Question, Draft paper submitted for the “The EU at a Crossroads: From Technocracy to High Politics? Workshop. Convener: Francesca Bignami, Professor or Law, George Washington University Law School, March 23-24, 2018
  • Europe’s Descent into Authoritarian Populism: Lessons for Democracy in America, Invited Lecture, Clough Center for Constitutionalism, Boston College, March 27, 2018.
  • How the EU Can and Should Protect Democracy, The Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights in Defiant Member States: The Possibility and Desirability of Economic Sanctions; EUI, Florence, March 19, 2018 (Panelist)
  • Panelist. The Authority of EU Law: Do We Still Believe in it?, ERA. The Academy of European Law, Trier, October 19-20, 2017.
  • Populism: A Threat of Corrective for Liberal Democracy. Workshop on “Public Law and the New Populism”, NYU School of Law on September 15, 2017.
  • Is populist constitutionalism the new trend?, panelist and panel organizer: ‘Populism: A threat or a corrective for liberal democracy?’ International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) 2017 Conference on “Courts, Power, Public Law,” in Copenhagen, July 5–7, 2017

Professional Activities and Recognition

  • “A Crisis of Constitutional Democracy in Post-Communist Europe: ‘Lands In-Between’ Democracy and Authoritarianism,” paper selected by the American Society of Comparative Law as one of the seven best papers of 2014, presented at ASCL workshop at UCLA School of Law, March 2014.
  • Reviewer for Law and Society Review, Law and Social Inquiry, Journal of European Integration, European Constitutional Law Review, The Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, Democratization, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Comparative Political Studies, International Journal of Constitutional Law, Constellations, Review of Central and East European Law, Freedom House, Nations in Transit Report, Hrvatska i komparativna javna uprava (Croatian and Comparative Public Administration), Social Science Journal, International Review of Administrative Sciences, Cambridge University Press, Routledge University Press.
  • Law and Society Association, member.
  • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), member.
  • European Union Studies Association (EUSA), member.
  • International Society of Public Law (ICON-S), member.
  • iSERP (International Social and Economic Rights Project), Northeastern University, Law School (Boston), member.

Journal articles