Petra Burai

C.V. | Publications

Research Interests
Law and society, legal anthropology of policy-making, anti-corruption policies, public participation and community engagement, human rights

Research Area(s)
Europe (particularly Central and Eastern Europe), USA


Petra Burai’s main fields of research, policy engagement and teaching include integrity and accountability within the public sector and civil society, anti-corruption policies, public participation and community engagement, whistleblowing and lobbying. She has gained more than fifteen years of experience as a consultant and legal expert for intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations on issues related to her research.

Dr. Burai completed her PhD on the limitations of anti-corruption regulations and the ways of overcoming such obstacles at Eötvös Loránd University in 2016. Her dissertation was granted the Pro Dissertatione Iuridica Excellentissima Award from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Legal Studies on the basis of its academic and social importance. In her recent research she has continued to explore how social and legal norms and power relations influence the social perception and efficiency of anti-corruption regulations and projects. This is part of her broader research interest in the future trends and innovations of anti-corruption initiatives, the different interpretations of accountability and participation in policymaking as well as the protection of human rights within the business sector.

She holds an MSc in Public Policy (as a Chevening fellow) from the University of Bristol, an LLM in Human Rights from the Central European University as well as a JD from Eötvös Loránd University. Prior to joining the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) as legal advisor in 2017 she worked at Transparency International Hungary as the head of legal affairs and director of research. Dr. Burai also previously worked at the Hungarian Ministry of Education as legal advisor, the German Federal Ministry of Interior and the Berlin State Centre for Political Education as a professional fellow as well as the State Audit Office of Hungary as public integrity research manager. She received several academic and executive scholarships including the Chevening Fellowship (UK), the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Fellowship (USA), the Carl Friedrich Goerdeler-Kolleg Fellowship (Public Sector Executive Leadership Program) awarded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, a doctoral research fellowship granted by Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Department ‘Law & Anthropology’ and research fellowships at the European Court of Human Right in Strasbourg.

Why Law & Anthropology?

“Social justice and human rights are cultural constructions reflecting human diversity; hence, they are constantly subject to redefinition. The social and legal perception of corruption also depends on cultural attributes, as well as historic, social and economic conditions that shift over time and place. Only interdisciplinary research is capable of highlighting the processes that influence social patterns and lawmaking. Legal anthropology provides concrete and innovative lessons regarding the law’s influence on society, and conversely, the social impact on the implementation of law. Turning these lessons into practice is one step towards establishing much more effective legal and policy frameworks.”

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