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The Hollowing and Backsliding of Democracy in East Central Europe

  Add to Calendar 26/10/2015 13:00 26/10/2015 14:30 Europe/Paris The Hollowing and Backsliding of Democracy in East Central Europe

A paper presentation within the Eastern European Working group

The essay identifies two main dangers to East Central Europe’s young democracies:
“hollowing,” or declining popular involvement in democracy, and “backsliding,” or
destabilization and reverting to semi-authoritarian practices. It traces the malaise of some
but not all post-socialist democracies to varied combinations of hollowing and
backsliding. The main finding is an intricate pattern: in some cases the two syndromes
coincide, in others they do not. There is also significant cross-country variation in the
gravity of syndromes. The region’s pure neoliberal capitalist regimes are likelier to
undermine popular political participation than those, which try to balance marketization
with relatively generous social protection for its losers. At the same time, the essay finds
that while the hollowing of democracy before the global financial crisis has not
necessarily been a curse, the massive participation of citizenry prior to the crisis has not
been a generalized blessing from the viewpoint of democracy’s resilience. This is
substantiated by a comparative case study of Hungary and Latvia with lessons for
activists of democracy promotion and civil society development.

Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

A paper presentation within the Eastern European Working group

The essay identifies two main dangers to East Central Europe's young democracies: "hollowing," or declining popular involvement in democracy, and "backsliding," or destabilization and reverting to semi-authoritarian practices. It traces the malaise of some but not all post-socialist democracies to varied combinations of hollowing and backsliding. The main finding is an intricate pattern: in some cases the two syndromes coincide, in others they do not. There is also significant cross-country variation in the gravity of syndromes. The region's pure neoliberal capitalist regimes are likelier to undermine popular political participation than those, which try to balance marketization with relatively generous social protection for its losers. At the same time, the essay finds that while the hollowing of democracy before the global financial crisis has not necessarily been a curse, the massive participation of citizenry prior to the crisis has not been a generalized blessing from the viewpoint of democracy's resilience. This is substantiated by a comparative case study of Hungary and Latvia with lessons for activists of democracy promotion and civil society development.


Location:
Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

Contact:
Monika Rzemieniecka - Send a mail

Discussant:
Endre Borbath - EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences

Organiser:
Prof. László Bruszt - EUI

Speaker:
Prof. Béla Greskovits - Website - Central European University

Attachment :
Paper
 
 
 

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