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Zięba, Ryszard, ed. Politics and Security of Central and Eastern Europe: Contemporary Challenges. Springer Nature, 2023.


This book analyzes major contemporary political and security problems in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Presenting case studies on various CEE countries, it highlights the persistence of non-democratic political trends in the region, with particular emphasis on authoritarianism in Belarus and the illiberal shift in the politics of Hungary and Poland. Also, the book examines the growing geopolitical and military rivalry between the West and Russia in the CEE region, which led to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. After addressing the increasing involvement of external entities such as NATO, the EU, the USA, Germany, France, and China, it highlights serious internal and external challenges to the democratic institutions and international security of CEE that call for new formats of multilateral cooperation to be established by the region’s countries.

This book is intended for scholars and students of European politics, international relations and security studies, and for anyone interested in the political and security challenges facing the CEE region.

Table of Contents


  • Peripherality of the CEE Region – Tomasz Pawłuszko
  • From Authoritarianism to Neo-Totalitarianism in Belarus – Pavel Usov
  • Illiberal Turn in Hungary – Andrea Schmidt
  • Illiberalism and Nationalism in Poland’s Politics – Ryszard Zięba
  • EU and NATO Eastern Policy – Ryszard Zięba
  • Ukraine’s Attempts to Join the West – Marharyta Blyzniuk
  • Russia’s Challenge to Central and Eastern Europe – Agnieszka Bryc
  • Militarization of Security Policies in Central and Eastern Europe – Tomasz Pawłuszko
  • A Fragile Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Marlena Drygiel-Bielińska
  • Energy Security of Central and Eastern European Countries –Remigiusz Rosicki
  • Visegrad Group–Real Entity or Mirage – Andrea Schmidt
  • Three Seas Initiative – Ryszard Zięba
  • Central and Eastern Europe in U.S. Foreign Policy – Ewelina Waśko-Owsiejczuk
  • Central and Eastern Europe in Germany’s Foreign Policy – Aleksandra Kruk & Beata Molo
  • Central and Eastern Europe in France’s Foreign Policy – Marlena Drygiel-Bielińska
  • Central and Eastern Europe in China’s Foreign Policy – Zoltán Vörös

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.