Thirty years ago in Central and Eastern Europe, belief in an open society and a sense of reasserted national and indeed European identity seemed to go hand-in-hand. But that was then.
Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party has used its two-thirds majority in parliament to change the constitution, erase checks and balances, and make
the electoral system even more majoritarian.
Viewed until recently as an exemplar of democratic transformation, Poland is increasingly seen as a leading case of democratic backsliding, thanks to a series of illiberal measures pushed through by the Law and Justice party.
Recent electoral victories by a pro-Russian president and a populist prime minister point to an antiestablishment wave in the Czech Republic. Yet strong checks and balances, EU ties, and a different outlook among younger voters may help to safeguard liberal democracy.
The political turmoil following a journalist’s murder in Slovakia has revealed serious dangers to the country’s democratic institutions.
Bulgaria continues to enjoy free and fair elections, but over the last decade its politics has come to be dominated by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who practices a brand of discretionary rule that puts his own priorities above any commitment to legal or constitutional norms.
In Romania today, as in Italy twenty years ago, the gradual politicization of anticorruption has come to shape the political scene.
For countries emerging from communism, the post-1989 imperative to “be like the West” has generated discontent and even a “return of the repressed,” as the region feels old nationalist stirrings and new demographic pressures.
When nonviolent mass protests occur under authoritarian regimes, the military plays a key role in determining the outcome: the hardening of the dictatorship, a new authoritarian regime, or a transition to democracy.
Courage Tribute acceptance speeches from the World Movement for Democracy's Ninth Assembly in Dakar, Senegal; Organization of American States (OAS) statement on Cuba's presidential succession; French president Emmanual Macron's address before the European Parliament; report by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.K. Parliament on Russian money laundering