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Tattered EU Flag: Photo: “Tattered EU flag,” by Derek Bennett licensed under CC BY 2.0 DEED. The hue is modified from the original.

Ágn, A. (2016). The Decline of Democracy in East-Central Europe. Problems of Postcommunism, 63(5–6), 277–287.


This chapter addresses the challenges to liberal democracy in Europe and how a questioned liberal democracy has become a threat to the European Union (EU) and European integration. This chapter reviews the research on democratization and autocratization and explores the democracy status among EU member states. It further discusses how previous decades of democratization provided for EU enlargements and an expanded democratic peace order, but how recent years of democratic decline has become an existential threat to the EU. The chapter concludes with a discussion of what the EU should do if some member states further declines into populism, illiberalism and autocracy.

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.