Featuring Aziz Huq and Tom Ginsburg

According to a recent book by Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Z. Huq, How to Save a Constitutional Democracy (University of Chicago Press, 2018), we can no longer afford to be complacent about democracy in the United States. Drawing on a rich array of other countries’ experiences with democratic backsliding, the authors mount an urgent argument to show how constitutional rules can either hinder or hasten the decline of democratic institutions. The checks and balances of the federal government, a robust civil society and media, and individual rights—such as those enshrined in the First Amendment—do not necessarily succeed as bulwarks against democratic decline. Rather, the Constitution’s design may make democratic erosion more likely. But we—and the rest of the world—can do better. Join Ginsburg and Huq to explore practical steps for how laws and constitutional design can play a more positive role in managing the risk of democratic decline.

Contact alumniassociation@uchicago.edu or 773.702.2150.

Event Details

6:00 p.m. Registration and networking
6:30 p.m. Presentation and discussion
7:30 p.m. Reception

$10/Maroon Loyalty Society member or recent graduate (College alumni of the past 10 years and graduate alumni of the past five years)
Free for current academic year graduates and current students
Two complimentary registrations for members of the Chicago, Harper, Odyssey, and Phoenix philanthropic societies

Learn more about UChicago giving societies.

Featured Faculty


Aziz Huq is the Frank and Bernice J. Greenberg Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. His scholarship focuses on how constitutional design influences individual rights and liberties. It has appeared in leading law reviews, including flagship journals at Yale; Harvard; Stanford; Columbia University; the University of Chicago; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Pennsylvania; the University of Michigan; Duke University; the University of Virginia; Northwestern; Vanderbilt University; and the University of Texas at Austin. He has also published in leading peer-reviewed journals in empirical legal studies, criminology, and social psychology. Recent pieces have won the Junior Scholars Paper Competition Award in Criminal Law from the Association of American Law Schools and have been selected for the Harvard/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum. In 2015 Huq received the Graduating Students Award for Teaching Excellence. He clerked for Judge Robert D. Sack of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the US Supreme Court. Before teaching, he led the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program and was a senior consultant analyst for the International Crisis Group.


Tom Ginsburg focuses on comparative and international law from an interdisciplinary perspective. He holds BA, JD, and PhD degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to How to Save a Constitutional Democracy, his books include Judicial Review in New Democracies (Cambridge University Press, 2003), which won the C. Herman Pritchett Award from the American Political Science Association (APSA); The Endurance of National Constitutions (Cambridge University Press, 2009), which also won a best book prize from APSA; and Judicial Reputation (University of Chicago Press, 2015). Ginsburg currently codirects the Comparative Constitutions Project, an effort funded by the National Science Foundation to gather and analyze the constitutions of all independent nation-states since 1789. Before entering law teaching, he served as a legal adviser at the Iran-US Claims Tribunal in The Hague, and he continues to work with numerous international development agencies and foreign governments on legal and constitutional reform. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.