Ted Piccone
World Justice Project


On the Brookings Institution's Order from Chaos blog, WJP Chief Engagement Officer Ted Piccone discusses global trends in the rule of law as revealed in the new WJP Rule of Law Index 2020.

Read an excerpt below and find the full blog post here: The Rule of Law is Under Duress Everywhere


Anyone paying attention to major events of the day in the United States and around the world would know that the basic social fabric is fraying from a toxic mix of ills — inequality, dislocation, polarization, environmental distress, scarce resources, and more. Signs abound that after decades of uneven but steady human progress, we are digging a deeper and muddier hole for ourselves. The principal reason for this pessimism is not the material facts of decline — we have lived through worse times before — but the crumbling consensus around how to overcome such crises. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is fast becoming the latest stress test for whether the social contract can hold.

The roadmap for climbing out of the trough should begin with the understanding that the rule of law is the sine qua non of more successful societies. Societies with strong rule of law have built-in mechanisms for mediating conflicts through open and inclusive debate, in which all voices are treated equally, and outcomes are perceived as fair and reasonable.

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Ted Piccone World Justice Project

Ted Piccone is the Chief Engagement Officer at the World Justice Project, where he leads WJP’s efforts to advance the rule of law through strategic partnerships and convenings, coordinated advocacy, and locally-led initiatives around the world. Mr. Piccone has more than 30 years' experience in international relations, policy, and law, most recently as a Senior Fellow specializing in international order and strategy and Latin America at the Brookings Institution. Previously, he served as the acting vice president and deputy director for Brookings’ Foreign Policy program and remains affiliated as a nonresident scholar. Mr. Piccone was a senior foreign policy advisor at the State Department, National Security Council and the Pentagon, and Executive Director of the Democracy Coalition Project. He was also the Washington office director for the Club de Madrid and continues as an advisor.

Mr. Piccone is a recognized expert on global democracy and human rights policies, emerging powers, multilateral affairs, and U.S.-Latin American relations. In 2017-18, he was the inaugural Brookings-Robert Bosch Stiftung Transatlantic Initiative Fellow in Berlin. He is the author or editor of multiple publications on international affairs, including books on Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order, and Catalysts for Change: How the UN’s Independent Experts Promote Human Rights. His legal career includes a clerkship in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey and as Counsel to the UN Truth Commission for El Salvador. He holds honor degrees from Columbia University’s Law School and the University of Pennsylvania and teaches international human rights law at American University’s Washington College of Law.

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Dozens of recent books chronicle rising authoritarianism and question whether democracies can survive. What do these trends mean for international law and practice? Professor Tom Ginsburg joins us to discuss implications in contemporary policy contexts, including management of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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