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  • #15 – Season 2 Finale

    17 SEP 2022 · Today, Fabio talks about the accomplishments of season 2 and what he had to leave for season 3. He also announces a short break and shares information about this call for paper through which PAL is recruiting collaborators for its next phase: If you want to work with us, take a look at the call and submit your abstract. If you know of someone who might be in a good position to work with us, send them the link to this episode or to the call, and tell them we are looking forward to hearing from them!
    6m 37s
  • #14 – Sofia Rolim on Bolsonaro, public safety, and engaging with PAL as a Brazilian graduate student

    14 SEP 2022 · In the last two episodes of this season, Fabio interviews two students who were engaged with PAL, and the themes we are exploring through the Project. Today he talks to Sofia Rolim, a Master's Student at FGV Law School in São Paulo, Brazil, one of the main institutions behind the PAL project. At FGV, Sofia took a seminar on autocratic legalism, led by PAL researchers Marta Machado and Raquel Pimenta. Sofia also became a graduate research assistant, helping with the editorial work needed for a Brazilian book on autocratic legalism, as well as with some of the organizing work needed for PAL in general. Sofia’s own studies focus on Bolsonaro’s policies in public safety, which have led to an increase in police violence and access to firearms. In the episode, Fabio and Sofia draw from her organizing and intellectual work in PAL to reflect upon the issues we always reflect upon on the podcast, that is, "what is happening to democracy?" and "what does law have to do with it?".
    29m 46s
  • # 13 – Ryleigh Horst on democracy and law in the life of a US College student

    13 SEP 2022 · In the last two episodes of this season, Fabio interviews two students who were engaged with PAL, and the themes we are exploring through the Project. Today he talks to Ryleigh Horst, his former undergraduate student at the University of Oklahoma. Ryleigh did extensive studies about democracy and current trends of democratic backsliding and also stood out for her activist work. In 2021, she helped write a petition submitted to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, to fight the execution of Julius Jones, a former OU student who received a death penalty sentence in what many understood to be an unfair trial. In the episode, Fabio and Ryleight draw from her intellectual and political engagement on campus to reflect upon the issues central to this podcast, that is, "what is happening to democracy?" and "what does law have to do with it?".
    27m 22s
  • #12 – David Trubek on global sociolegal studies and transnational efforts to combat authoritarianism

    26 MAY 2022 · Today, Fabio talks to David Trubek, Voss-Bascom Professor of Law and Dean of International Studies Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Senior Global Fellow at FGV Direito SP, the FGV Law School in Sao Paulo. David really needs no introduction to most PALcast listeners; he is a true icon in law and society and law and development studies. Among his many qualities is his experience putting together large research projects, with scholars from what we now call the “Global North” and the “Global South”, which PAL builds upon and expands. David has also been a key contributor to PAL. He helped convene the first group of scholars in our project, he gave us mentorship and support, and he is helping to lead one of our project components, titled “transnational efforts to combat authoritarianism” or TRECA, which he lays out in the interview. This conversation helps highlight PAL's significance as a global sociolegal endeavor and gives proper recognition to David's role as a major driver of our project.
    42m 28s
  • #11 – Michael McCann on dual legal states and the political economy of autocratic legalism

    24 APR 2022 · Today, Fabio talks to Michael McCann, a professor at the University of Washington and former president of the Law and Society Association. Michael is known for his studies on legal mobilization and recently published an essay (with Filiz Kahraman) arguing that “the distinction between liberal and illiberal, or authoritarian legal orders is misleading”, because most countries, including the US, are “governed by plural, dual, or hybrid legal institutions, principles, and practices”. They also place this duality or hybridity in a political economy context, particularly what they call “racial capitalism”. Exploring these ideas, Fabio and Michael engage in an insightful conversation, which also touches on issues like the myth of US exceptionalism and how studies of the global south can help illuminate what goes on in the global north. Michael and Filiz's essay can be consulted at:
    51m 44s
  • #10 – Swethaa Ballakrishnen on what it means to do global sociolegal studies

    3 APR 2022 · In this episode, Fabio talks to Swethaa Ballakrishnen, a law professor at UCI with training in sociology and law. Swethaa studies legal globalization and how law and legal institutions create, sustain, and counter different kinds of socio-economic inequalities, drawing from fieldwork in multiple sites. But the interview focuses mostly on the book Swethaa edited with Sara Dezalay, called "Invisible Institutionalisms", which questions the process by which academics give meaning to global legal development and how this sometimes reifies categories and hierarchies. This is a timely conversation for a project like PAL that is set off to produce "global collaborative research" involving scholars in both the "North" and the "South".
    49m 18s
  • #9 – Tom Ginsburg on democratic erosion through law, US non-exceptionalism, and legal design

    24 NOV 2021 · Today, Fabio talks to Tom Ginsburg, a professor of international law and political science at the University of Chicago and the author of "How to save a Constitutional democracy" (with Aziz Huq) and the brand-new "Democracies and International Law". Fabio and Tom discuss how modern autocrats use law to consolidate power, how the US has proven vulnerable to democratic erosion through law, and whether improvements in legal design (domestically or internationally) may help slow or stop these processes.
    48m 14s
  • Season 2 trailer: A more diverse mix

    21 NOV 2021 · PALcast host, Fabio de Sa e Silva, explains what he and his guests will be discussing during season 2 of PALcast. For more information on the PAL project, go to
    3m 29s
  • #8 – Season 1 finale: Fabio and Ahmed on the podcast's backstage

    22 OCT 2021 · Today, Fabio is interviewed by his student Ahmed Abdelaziz, who also helped with PALcast's production. They talk about the motivations, challenges, and joy of producing PALcast season 1 and what is being planned for season 2
    23m 21s
  • #7 – Kim Lane Scheppele on what autocratic legalism is and how we can resist autocrats

    25 SEP 2021 · Today, Fabio talks to Kim Lane Scheppele, a Professor of Sociology and International Affairs at Princeton University. Kim has a very special place in the PAL project. She was the scholar who popularized the term "autocratic legalism" in law and society studies and, back in 2019, she gave a powerful speech at the annual meeting of the Law and Society Association, urging scholars to study how law had become part of the toolkit of autocrats. PAL was born that day, in response to her call. Fabio and Kim discussed what autocratic legalism is, how it may differ from populism, and how the practices of legalist autocrats can be resisted and stopped
    53m 31s

This is a podcast of the Project on Autocratic Legalism (PAL). PAL seeks to understand how law can be used to further, as well as to resist autocratic forces that...

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This is a podcast of the Project on Autocratic Legalism (PAL). PAL seeks to understand how law can be used to further, as well as to resist autocratic forces that have been on the rise around the globe. The project involves scholars from multiple countries and disciplines. PAL participants are currently conducting research on autocratic legalism in Brazil, India, and South Africa. Learn more about our project at In this podcast, we will share some of the conceptual debates behind, and research findings stemming from our project. Our episodes will be released every month. PALcast is sponsored by the University of Oklahoma and hosted by Fabio de Sa e Silva
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