Mission

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural contexts, their intellectual genealogies, the natures of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene. It aims at 1) Promoting a multidisciplinary approach combining political science, sociology, political philosophy, cultural studies and international relations, 2) Addressing questions related to democratic backlash, the spread of authoritarianism, post-liberalism, the far right, populism and nationalism, 3) Serving as a platform for debating the future of the liberalism / illiberalism relationship and engaging scholars, practitioners and activists.

Resources

December 3, 2020

Fabio De Sa Silva – From Car Wash to Bolsonaro: Law and Lawyers in Brazil’s Illiberal Turn (2014–2018)

December 3, 2020

Meredith L. Weiss – Can Civil Society Safeguard Rights in Asia?

December 3, 2020

Mario Datts – Social Media, Populism, and Migration

December 3, 2020

András Kádár – In its Nature—How Stealth Authoritarianism Keeps Stealing Along During the Pandemic, and How Can it be Stopped?

December 3, 2020

Antonino Castaldo – Back to Competitive Authoritarianism? Democratic Backsliding in Vučić’s Serbia

December 3, 2020

Tobias Köllner – Religion and Politics in Contemporary Russia: Beyond the Binary of Power and Authority

View All Posts

Definition of illiberalism

By illiberalism, we define a strain of political culture, a set of institutional reforms (such as assaults on an independent judiciary) and broader societal processes (such as declining trust in liberal democratic institutions) that, over the past two decades, has emerged in response to liberalism as experienced by various countries. Adherents of illiberalism argue that, in the face of a liberalism that has “gone too far,” it is time to reassert the rights of the collective, or of an alleged silent majority, by restoring national sovereignty in various spheres: politically, by rejecting supranational and multilateral institutions in favor of the nation-state and preferring a strong leader with large powers over a parliamentary system; economically, through at least partial protectionism; culturally, by refusing multiculturalism and minority rights in favor of an essentialist definition of the nation, its members, and its genuine cultural attributes.