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Rethinking ‘Democratic Backsliding’ in Central & Eastern Europe

May 20 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Over the past decade a consensus has emerged that democracy in CEE is sharply deteriorating, perhaps even ‘backsliding’ into new forms of authoritarianism. Debate has, however, so far focused disproportionately on the two most dramatic and surprising cases: Hungary and Poland.

In this event contributors to a newly published edited collection seeks to inject fresh thinking into the debate on democratic deterioration in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), viewing ‘democratic backsliding’ through the prism of a range of cases beyond Hungary and Poland.

This collection reflects on the ‘backsliding’ debate through the experience of CEE countries such as the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Latvia, and Estonia; as well as neighbouring post-communist regions such as the Western Balkans and former Soviet Union (cases such as Moldova and Ukraine), whose patterns of failing or partial democratisation may be newly instructive for analysing the development of CEE.

Contributors will discuss less frequently considered perspectives on ‘democratic backsliding’ in the CEE, such as the role of oligarchisation and wealth concentration; the potential of ethnographical approaches to democracy evaluation; the trade-offs between democratic quality and democratic stability; and the long-term interplay between social movements, state-building, and democratisation.

This book was originally published as a special issue of East European Politics.


Dr Sherrill Stroschein (UCL Department of Political Science)


Dr Licia Cianetti (Royal Holloway)

Dr James Dawson (Coventry University)

Dr Seán Hanley (UCL-SSEES)

Dr Eleanor Knott (LSE)

Free admission, open to all.

Gordon House, room 106




Gordon House
29 Gordon Square
London, WC1H 0PP United Kingdom
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