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Photo: “0599 1989 Berlin Mauer (28 dec) (14285486046)” by Aad van der Drift, licensed under CC BY 2.0. Hue modified from the original

Zielonka, Jan, and Jacques Rupnik. “From Revolution to ‘Counter-Revolution’: Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe 30 Years On.” Europe-Asia Studies 72, no. 6 (2020): 1073-1099.


The essay explains the origin, scope and forms of the anti-liberal surge taking place in Central and Eastern Europe. Why have voters across the region deserted the liberal politicians who managed to secure peace and prosperity on the ashes of communism? Does the erosion of democratic values and institutions lead to autocracy, or something novel? Special attention will be devoted to the issue of order and chaos in the broader European setting. Can order be maintained without shared values across EU member states? The conclusions will point to the variety of hybrid regimes in Central and Eastern Europe and assess their impact.

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.