Conference — October 28 and 29, 2022

The State of Democracy and Rise of Autocracy

In View of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Photo by Leonhard Niederwimmer courtesy of Unsplash.

Photo by Leonhard Niederwimmer on Unsplash.

OCTOBER 28 and 29, 2022, join us for the conference, The State of Democracy and Rise of Autocracy in view of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. The event includes presentations on democracy, authoritarianism, law, and illiberalism. Participants aim to illuminate environmental policies and political problems of weakening democratic sustainability with the simultaneous growth of autocracies worldwide. 

Keynote Speaker

Barbara Geddes (UCLA) will deliver the conference keynote. Geddes works on autocratic politics, regime transition, democratization, bureaucratic reform and corruption, political bargaining over institutional change, and research design. Her current research focuses on politics in dictatorships. Her most recent book is How Dictatorships Work: Power, Personalization, and Collapse (with Joseph Wright and Erica Frantz), 2018. The original data set on which the book was based, The Authoritarian Regimes Data Set,  was awarded the Lijphart/Przeworski/Verba Best Original Data Set Award given by the Comparative Politics Organized Section of the American Political Science Association. Read more.


On this page

Conference Presenters

  • Samuel Cohn (Texas A&M University)
  • James Gardner (University at Buffalo)
  • John Markoff (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Majia Nadesan (Arizona State University)
  • Harvey Palmer (University at Buffalo)
  • Adam Rome (University at Buffalo)
  • Natalia Shlikhta (National University of Kyiv, Ukraine)
  • Barbara Wejnert (University at Buffalo)
  • Robert Wilson (Syracuse University)

Location, Days, Times

John Lord O’Brian Hall, Room 104, UB North Campus

  • October 28, 2022
    Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • October 29, 2022
    Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The conference is held in-person and via Zoom.
To access the event via ZOOM, register here.

Conference Organizers

  • Barbara Wejnert
    Professor, UB Department of Environment and Sustainability
  • James A. Gardner
    SUNY Distinguished Professor; Bridget and Thomas Black Professor
    UB School of Law

Conference Sponsors

  • The Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy
  • School of Law, University at Buffalo 
  • UB CAS Department of Environment and Sustainability

Conference Program

Friday, October 28, 2022 

8:30 - 9:00 am, Breakfast

9:00 - 9:50 am, How Ukrainian Orthodox and Greek Catholics opposed Moscow's hegemony through the Soviet period
Prof. Natalia Shlikta, National University of Kyiv, Ukraine

10:00 - 10:50 am, Democracy, Autocracy, and War: Recurrent Processes and the Many Challenges of our Own Moment
Prof. John Markoff, University of Pittsburg

11:00 - 11:50 am, Democracy, Dictatorship, or Hemihyperplasia?
Prof. Sam Cohn, Texas A&M

12:00 - 1:00 pm, Lunch

1:00 - 2:00 pm Keynote: The Personalization of Power and Democratic Backsliding
Prof. Barbara Geddes, UCLA

2:10 - 3:00 pm, The First Earth Day, Democracy, and Sustainability  
Prof. Adam Rome, University at Buffalo

3:10 - 4:00 pm, The Threat of Authoritarianism and the Climate Crisis: Insights from the Past
Prof. Robert Wilson, Syracuse University

4:10 - 4:30 pm, Break

4:30 - 5:30 pm, Retrenching Democracy, Global Rise of Autocracy and Climate Change Politics
Prof. Barbara Wejnert, University at Buffalo

Saturday, October 29, 2022 

8:30 - 9:00 am, Breakfast

9:00 - 9:50 am, Counter-Articulating Technocracy: Organic Populism and Energy Democracy
Prof. Majia Nadesan, Arizona State

10:00 - 10:50 am, Reconsidering the Roles of Political Entrepreneurs and Social Capital in Democratization
Prof. Harvey Palmer, University at Buffalo

11:00 - 11:50 am, Subnational Political Heterogeneity: Authoritarianism in Federal States
Prof. James Gardner, University at Buffalo

12:00pm. Lunch / End of Conference


Conference Poster