Recovering from Authoritarian Backsliding: Pathways and Prospects
Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) witnessed some of the most visible transitions from authoritarian to democratic rule as part of the Third Wave of democratization. The fact that most of the former Communist states of CEE later joined the European Union (EU) created the expectation that, notwithstanding the difficulties faced by other post-authoritarian states, the constitutional democracies of CEE were fully consolidated.
Hungary and Poland now vividly illustrate how that optimism was premature. Even though those states are embedded in the legal, economic and political framework of the EU, these post-authoritarian democracies are now in the process of democratic deconsolidation. In this context, we term democratic deconsolidation “authoritarian backsliding”, because those countries had previously been autocracies, albeit ones of a radically different structure than those which are emerging.
Moreover, constitutional democracy is under stress globally in a diverse set of economic and geographic contexts, which suggests that the analysis of the situation in Hungary and Poland could be enriched by looking at comparative cases outside the EU.
While currently the outlook is not positive in Hungary and Poland, this roundtable proceeds on the assumption that a return to constitutional democracy could be possible.
The roundtable is convened under the auspices of the Center for Global Constitutionalism and the Center for Constitutional Transitions and Democracy Reporting International by Mattias Kumm, Sujit Choudhry and Michael Meyer-Resende.
Due to capacitiy constraints, registrations are limited. Please register with us via globalconstitutionalism [at] wzb.eu until December 15, 2017.