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Guasti, Petra, and Lenka Bustikova. “Varieties of Illiberal Backlash in Central Europe.” Problems of Post-Communism (2023): 1-13.


Abortion, same-sex marriage, gender equality, and LGBTQ rights have become hotly contested topics in Central Europe over the past two decades. Abortion rights have been rolled back, and the expansion of LGBTQ rights has been stalled or reversed. What explains the varieties of illiberal backlash in Central Europe? We argue that the extent of backlash reflects the strength of an alliance between socially conservative advocacy groups and political parties. However, we also show two factors curbing illiberal backlash: public opinion and a pluralistic moderate confessional political party. Both factors constrain illiberal politicians and dampen the radicalization of parties in power.

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.