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Populism and illiberal democracy

The poly-crisis of recent years has signalled a profound transformation in the very structure of contemporary democracy, revealing that what we are witnessing goes beyond a particular malfunction of an otherwise workable model. The symptoms of democratic malaise have multiplied and intensified: support for radical right populist political options has surged; illiberal tendencies have spread; fragmentation, polarisation, and volatility have increased both at the national and EU levels; and popular disengagement from conventional politics has become the norm rather than the exception.

Such disconcerting dynamics and trends are unlikely to simply go away. Against this backdrop, the EPC analyses and discusses questions such as: Why do European citizens vote for populist leaders and parties? How can popular fears impinge on democratic values, and how do we get hope back into politics? How well do we understand Hungary and Poland, or democratic illiberal tendencies elsewhere in Europe, and what is the appropriate level for action in these cases? Is a course correction still possible in the context of representative democracy, or do we need a wholesale rethink of democracy as we know it?



Associate Director and Head of European Politics and Institutions Programme
EU enlargement, Western Balkans, democracy, citizen participation, populism, political parties
Policy Analyst

      Citizen participation, disinformation, democracy,
EU reform, Western Balkans, EU enlargement

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