In the multi-disciplinary research programme Resilient Rule of Law, lawyers, economists and governance scholars work together to grasp the effects of a changing society on the functioning of the rule of law and legal institutions. Do citizens experience the rule of law to work on their behalf? What are the effects of societal changes and challenges on the acceptance and functioning of the rule of law? Must the rule of law be made more resilient, and how can this be done?

Technological innovations, mass migration, radicalism and terrorism, and climate change are societal challenges that potentially put pressure on the rule of law. The legitimacy of government on different levels is challenged. Governments struggle to find adequate solutions for complex societal issues, solutions that sometimes can conflict with the prerequisites of the rule of law. The rule of law is however often seen as formal and bureaucratic. Also, governments have to reckon with the growing influence of global private parties and the market. They struggle increasingly to guarantee level playing fields and basic human rights.

Research domains

Within the research theme, these questions are studied in three different domains:


The general coordinator of the Resilient Rule of Law research programme is Prof Eddy Bauw.

Resilient Societies

Resilient Rule of Law is one of the subsidiary themes of Resilient Societies. Within this overarching theme, the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance combines its forces in multidisciplinary research that contributes to resolving issues in society. Resilient societies are better able to respond flexibly to such themes as migration, climate change, new technologies or geopolitical shifts.

The programme's research is conducted along three main issues or subsidiary themes. Next to Resilient Rule of Law these are: