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democratic backsliding

February 21, 2024

‘Democratic’ governments exploit protests to increase attacks on citizens' right to resist

Joseph Ward The rise of authoritarian politics in ‘formal democracies’ across Europe has been met with various forms of protest. Some of these movements have achieved partial success. But evidence from the UK and France suggests that neoliberal governments are harnessing such resistance to accelerate authoritarianism and hostility towards marginalised people, write Joseph Ward and Thomas Da Costa Vieira Read more
February 15, 2024

♟ The EU didn’t foresee autocratisation in Central and Eastern Europe – neither did political science

James Dawson The EU did not foresee how autocratisation would unfold in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). But political scientists failed to raise the alarm, too. Lise Herman, James Dawson and Aurelia Ananda show that optimistic assumptions about democratisation misled policy makers and researchers alike Read more
February 9, 2024

🔮 Populist polarisation might benefit democracy – as Southeast Asia suggests

Diego Fossati We typically associate populism with corrosive partisan polarisation. Indeed, populist rhetoric often denigrates opponents as 'enemies of the people'. But while polarisation can have negative effects on democracy, Diego Fossati argues that it may also bring unexpected benefits. Using cases from Southeast Asia, he offers some convincing evidence Read more
January 25, 2024

Authoritarian U-turns in some countries, but not others

Gülşen Doğan Over the past two years, the number of people living under populist governments has dropped by 800 million. Why? Gülşen Doğan explains the factors helping to overturn authoritarian rule, and reveals why authoritarian leaders have been unseated in some countries, but not in others Read more
January 23, 2024

The big election year of 2024

Carl Henrik Knutsen Billions of citizens will cast their vote in 2024, some in democratic and others in autocratic elections. Some of these elections, writes Carl Henrik Knutsen, could solidify autocrats’ hold on power. Others might help dethrone them – and thus open up potential avenues for democratisation Read more
November 29, 2023

🌈 The burden of de-democratisation: gender (in)equality in Turkey

Raquel Santos Fernandes The less democratic the political regime, the more asymmetrical gender relations become. Raquel Santos Fernandes terms this phenomenon ‘gendering de-democratisation’. Based on data from Turkey, she explains how the process increasingly excludes women, and limits their experiences of citizenship in politics, in the economy, and in their intimate lives Read more
November 27, 2023

🔮 Populism and democratic backsliding: learning from Hungary and Tunisia

Barbara Pisciotta Barbara Pisciotta and Daniela Verena Huber explore how populism fuels societal divisions and provides fertile ground for democratic backsliding. This allows populist leaders to increase their own power at the expense of the opposition Read more
October 26, 2023

♟️ Why it matters how we talk about the 'global' autocratisation trend

Licia Cianetti Licia Cianetti and Petra Alderman critique the trend for claiming that a 'global' autocratisation is sweeping the world. It is, they argue, not a homogenous process, but many processes that look differently across time and space. Just as we need to better differentiate autocracies, so we also need better language to reflect these differences in autocratisation Read more

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