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Democratic Backsliding in Central and Eastern Europe? (Il)liberal Democracy Between Populist Governments and Civil Society Protest, Before and During Pandemic

Fatigue-Poprebel Debate

7 June 2021, 12:00-13:45 CET, Microsoft Teams here:

Since populist governments instigate cutbacks in the liberal democratic systems of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), political observers and scholars speak of the “democratic backsliding” or “illiberal backlash” in the post-communist region. More than a decade after Viktor Orbán’s rise to power in Hungary and the associated rise of “illiberal democracy”, and one year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, this debate seeks to critically reflect upon the state of (liberal) democracy in CEE: Is there an illiberal backlash in CEE, and what are its indicators? How are different actors reacting to and/or driving the backlash? What is the impact on democracy of the COVID-19 pandemic? And, finally, what awaits the democratic systems in CEE in the near and far future?

Introductory remarks: 

Prof. dr hab. Zdzislaw MachInstitute for European Studies, Jagiellonian University & POPREBEL 


Mina Baginova, MA, PhD cand. Charles University Prague & FATIGUE  

Dr. Petra GuastiAsst. Prof. for Democratic Theory, Charles University Prague

Prof. Dr. Vello PettaiDirector European Centre for Minority Issues & University of Tartu & POPREBEL 

Dr. Iwona ReichardtDeputy editor-in-chief at New Eastern Europe

The debate is organized in the framework of the MA course “Democracy, Identity, and Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe” at the Institute for European Studies, Jagiellonian University, summer semester 2021, by Rita Hornok (POPREBEL) and Francesco Melito, Sabine Volk and Olena Yermakova (FATIGUE).