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Photo: “Baiterek Tower“, by Francisco Anzola, licensed under CC BY 2.0. Hue modified from the original

Cooley, Alexander. “Ordering Eurasia: The rise and decline of liberal internationalism in the post-communist space.” Security Studies 28, no. 3 (2019): 588-613.


Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the post-Communist states were integrated at light speed into the organizations, institutions, and norms of the liberal international order. During the 1990s, Western regional organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and democratic norms became important pillars of an international security and governance architecture that seemingly locked in the post-Communist states, whose regimes were eager to derive the material benefits and status of anchoring themselves into the US-led liberal hegemonic order. Since 2005, however, many of the post-Communist governments increasingly view these Western pillars as threatening their domestic authority and regime survival and have actively supported Russian-led initiatives to curtail such organizations and norms’ reach and influence. As a result, the ecology of the post-Communist space has transformed from one where the liberal order was briefly dominant to one where new illiberal regional organizations, practices, and counternorms have flourished and now regularly interact with liberal counterparts.

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 context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.