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Photo: “Election posters for EU Parliament election in Luxembourg, various“, by Bdx, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Hue modified from the original

Daianu, Daniel. “Illiberal and “Inward-Looking” Drives: What Fuels Them?.” In Comparative Economic Studies in Europe, pp. 73-96. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2021.


There is evidence of mounting illiberal inclinations in the industrialized world, in democratic societies; an “inward-looking” syndrome (rising nationalism) is also taking place. Are they to be linked with temporary drivers in the “extraordinary times” we are living through, or do they have deeper roots? An answer to this question begs an examination of trends in society and economy, of the emergence of new (unconventional) threats, of disruptions and, not least, of failed public policies. The argument that “liberal democracy” is on the wane is misleading to the extent that policies can be corrected, that citizens and elites alike do not lose trust in democratic values. It may also be true that, although democracy has a “liberal core,” it can also be driven by “illiberal” components, and that the magnitude of the latter can vary. But for democracy to survive, its liberal core must be preserved.

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.