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Photo: “Session of Supreme Eurasian Economic Council,” by licensed under CC Attribution 3.0 Unported. Hue modified from the original.

Dragneva, Rilka, and Christopher A. Hartwell. “The crisis of the multilateral order in Eurasia: authoritarian regionalism and its limits.” Politics and Governance 10, no. 2 (2022): 95-105.


The process of authoritarian regionalism, where illiberal or similarly restrictive governments undertake a process of economic integration amongst each other, has emerged in the past two decades as a rival to existing liberal multilateral organisations. Emblematic of this approach is the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU), a grouping of post-Soviet states which has borrowed heavily from the experience of the EU but has set itself up as an alternative form of regionalism. Using the concept of institutional resilience, this article shows how the EaEU has been buffeted by three major shocks that have reduced its attractiveness as a viable development alternative to the West. Crises of economic integration, regional security, and, above all, of domestic stability have exposed the reality that the EaEU may be highly susceptible to shocks and, as a result, is less attractive as an alternative developmental model.

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.