Political economy

Heads of section: Gabor Scheiring, Bocconi University and Vera Scepanovic, Leiden University, Tomasz P. Wozniakowski, Hertie School

Political economy and inequalities are two issues central to the survival and thriving of democracy. Specific issues to be addressed include the interplay between socio-economic pathways and political change; the political economy of European integration;  and the fate of the welfare state.

Political economy

Equality. Darrin M. McMahon on an Elusive and Resilient Idea

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Darrin M. McMahon – author of the new book Equality: The History of an Elusive Idea – discusses his approach to the intellectual history of equality on the longue durée and explains why we shouldn’t think of this history as a triumphant march of progress; highlights the tensions between difference and sameness and explores the changing relationship between liberty and equality; and reflects on the globalization of our concern with equality – and our human ambivalence towards this resilient idea. 


Political economy

Maximilian Hess on the Economic War between Russia and the West

How Has Russia’s Attempt to Destroy the International Economic Order Backfired? In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Maximilian Hess – author of the new book Economic War: Ukraine and the Global Conflict between Russia and the West – shows how an economic war between Russia and the West has broken out in the 2010s; discusses why Russia’s large-scale invasion and brutal attempt to wreck Ukraine in 2022 has caused such disruption on the global scale; reflects on key features of the relationship between Russia and China today; and considers the future place of Russia in the international economic order. Maximilian Hess is the founder of the political risk consultancy Enmetena Advisory, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and associate fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and at the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs. His research focuses on the relationship between trade, debt, international relations, and foreign policy as [...]


Political economy

The War in Ukraine and Transition: In Conversation with Maria Popova

Despite, or perhaps due to, the war in Ukraine there have been positive developments in combating corruption and other issues in anticipation of EU membership. In this RevDem Rule of Law podcast Teodora Miljojkovic discusses these issues around transition with Professor Maria Popova.


Political economy

From democracy to authoritarian capitalism

In this op-ed, Gábor Scheiring explores the latest Freedom House Nations in Transit Report, its implications for Hungary, and how the report only reveals the tip of the iceberg of the democratic backsliding in Hungary.


Political economy

Nested Stories of Persecution: Ari Joskowicz Discusses the Asymmetrical Entanglements of Jews and Roma in History and Memory

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Ari Joskowicz – author of the new book Rain of Ash: Roma, Jews, and the Holocaust – discusses the ways Jewish and Romani histories have been entangled and what motivated him to write a relational history of the two groups; illuminates why he considers it essential to explore the conditions of knowledge production and how to try to avoid reproducing injustices; shows what it has implied in concrete setting that the stories of persecution of one group of people have been nested within those of another; and reflects on what has truly changed in memory culture and what new dialogues could be pursued in the future.


Political economy

Danielle Allen on Power-Sharing Liberalism

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Danielle Allen – author of the new book "Justice by Means of Democracy" – discusses her proposal of a power-sharing liberalism and explains why she calls herself a “eudaemonist democratic pragmatist”; shows why it is essential to foster a connected society and measure that society by the principle of “difference without domination”; reflects on what a paradigm change in political economy could look like and which model of citizenship would be most suitable for our times.


Political economy

Clara Mattei: Why is austerity so persistent in spite of its incapacity to achieve economic growth and balanced budgets?

In this interview with RevDem assistant editor Giancarlo Grignaschi, Clara Mattei – Assistant Professor in the Economics Department of The New School for Social Research – talks about her new book "The Capital Order: How Economists Invented Austerity and Paved the Way to Fascism" (University of Chicago Press, 2022). The manuscript explores the historical origins of austerity and its intellectual underpinnings in interwar Britain and Italy. During this interview, the author presents the main arguments of the book, the comparison between the two countries, the role of politics and the decline in electoral participation, the relationship between austerity and populism, and the recent problem of rising inflation.


Political economy

Be Realistic, Demand Significant Change! Daniel Chandler on What a Progressive Liberal Society of the Future Could Look Like

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Daniel Chandler – author of the new book "Free and Equal: What Would a Fair Society Look Like?" – discusses key principles that a better and fairer society could be based on; shows what makes John Rawls’ ideas so exceptionally relevant today and how they could help improve the democratic process; explains how placing questions of power, control, dignity, and self-respect at the center of liberal economic thinking would foster new economic arrangements; and discusses where egalitarian liberalism has already been practiced and with what consequences.


Political economy

Racialized Labor — Eastern Europeans on The Western Market

In this conversation with RevDem editor Kasia Krzyzanowska, Aleksandra Lewicki discusses her recently published article “East-west inequalities and the ambiguous racialization of ‘Eastern Europeans’”. Lewicki elaborates on the racialized imaginary of the Western European discourses on migration, talks about how the stereotype of hard-working Eastern Europeans negatively impacts their labor conditions, and ponders on the influence of neoliberal policies on the precarization of labor.


Political economy

Economic Sanctions are Insufficient to Stop the War

A year ago, Russia invaded Ukraine, catching many of us unprepared despite clear signs of impending conflict. The assumption that a European nation would conquer another in the 21st century appeared far-fetched. When the worst scenario happened, experts doubted Ukraine's ability to hold its ground for more than a few weeks. However, the country keeps resisting. The economic domain, along with warfare and geopolitics, presents many examples of events that did not turn out the way it was expected. This op-ed by Volodymyr Kulikov highlights three selected points about economic sanctions, corporate self-sanction, and energy wars.


Political economy

Dóra Piroska on Financial Nationalism

RevDem assistant editor Giancarlo Grignaschi in conversation with Dóra Piroska, assistant professor at CEU in Vienna at the department of International Relations, about her chapter on financial nationalism in the Elgar Handbook of Economic Nationalism, edited by Andreas Pickel.


Political economy

Best Political Economy Books of 2022

Gabor Scheiring, a head of the Political Economy and Inequalities section at the Review of Democracy, presents five key books in political economy of 2022.


Political economy

Cannibal Capitalism: Nancy Fraser on How the Global Economic Order Consumes the Foundations of Our Democracy and Society

In this conversation with RevDem Political Economy and Inequalities section co-head Vera Scepanovic, Nancy Fraser – whose newest book "Cannibal Capitalism" has just been released – explains why the ongoing crises of democracy, healthcare, climate, and racial injustice are really manifestations of a single broader crisis of capitalism; how the ability of capitalism to survive by redrawing boundaries between the economic and non-economic realms is being challenged; and what an emancipatory coalition building might look like that ambitions more than greater inclusion into the existing system.


Political economy

Democracies Proved More Successful at Breaking Promises. Fritz Bartel on the End of the Cold War and the Rise of Neoliberalism

RevDem section heads Vera Scepanovic and Ferenc Laczó talk with Fritz Bartel, author of "Triumph of Broken Promises. The End of the Cold War and the Rise of Neoliberalism".


Political economy

In Conversation with Eva Fodor: How the Carefare Gender Regime Shapes Hungary

RevDem Editor László Bence Bari in conversation with Éva Fodor, Professor at the Gender Studies and Pro-Rector of the Central European University about her latest book “The Gender Regime of Anti-Liberal Hungary”. In this book, she argues that the anti-liberal government of Hungary has established a specific kind of gender regime, the ’carefare’ policy which allows the government to stabilize and expand its rule over society and to support its ideological and political goals.


Political economy

Local oil, global finance, and democracies without citizen-creditors: in conversation with Helen Thompson

In conversation with Vera Šćepanović, Helen Thompson explains how concentrating on energy can reshape our understanding of contemporary history, political economy, and transnational finance; discusses how international relations are simultaneously shaped by zero-sum attitudes and tacit cooperation; asks what it means when representative democracies no longer rely on ‘citizen-creditors’; and reflects on how the profound economic shock triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine might play out across the world.


Political economy

We’re looking for assistant editors!

The Review of Democracy is looking for five assistant editors interested in one (or more) of these thematic fields: history of ideas, debates on the future of Europe, the state of democracy in various parts of the world & political economy.


Political economy

5 Key 2021 Books in Political Economy

Gábor Scheiring, the head of Political Economy section in the Review of Democracy, selects 5 the most intriguing books in this area.


Political economy

Laszlo Bruszt: The EU confederal regime weakens vulnerable member states

In this interview Laszlo Bruszt, Co-Director of the CEU Democracy Institute and Editor-in-Chief of RevDem, explains the inspiration behind the CEU Democracy Institute and RevDem, how East-West and North-South divisions define Europe, and why the EU confederal regime weakens vulnerable member states.


Political economy

Unspoken Inequalities. The Problems of Men in Europe

In many developed countries, polarization of young women and men has been increasingly visible in polls and has been noted by public opinion.


Political economy

Democracy’s Least Appreciated Strength Is Its Ability to Reform Itself – Dean Starkman on The Pandora Papers

In conversation with RevDem editor Robert Nemeth, Dean Starkman, senior editor at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, talks about the Pandora Papers and how tax avoidance and secrecy endangers democracy.


Political economy

Aldo Madariaga: Neoliberalism is not a solution for democracy

Aldo Madariaga discusses his latest book “Neoliberal Resilience: Lessons in Democracy and Development from Latin America and Eastern Europe” with our editor, Giancarlo Grignaschi.


Political economy

From Socialist to Capitalist Walls

Gábor Scheiring reviews „Taking stock of shock. Social consequences of the 1989 revolutions” by Kristen Ghodsee and Mitchell Orenstein


Political economy

Rising Inequality in Egalitarian Societies

In conversation with our editor Ferenc Laczo, Mitchell Orenstein, Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses post-communist transitions.


Political economy

Is Neoliberalism Finally Dead?

Few concepts have been declared dead and buried more often than neoliberalism. However, it continues to survive. Neoliberal Resilience, Aldo Madariaga’s award-winning book, shows how. Review by Gabor Scheiring.


Political economy

Illiberal finance: think globally, act locally

Gabor Scheiring reviews the book by Fabio Mattioli "Dark Finance. Illiquidity and Authoritarianism at the Margins of Europe"


Political economy

Sustainable Democracy after 25 years. Conversation with Adam Przeworski

Our editor-in-chief Laszlo Bruszt asks Adam Przeworski about the contemporary relevance of "Sustainable democracy", a seminal book published 25 years ago.


Political economy

We are looking for assistant editors!

Take a look at our Internship & Mentorship Programme for PhD students from CIVICA network.


Political economy

Corrupted Politicians Do Not Want To Be Constrained by Their Bureaucracy

In an interview with Giancarlo Grignaschi, Mihaly Fazekas argues that political appointees in federal agencies exercise pressure to create conditions for individual tenders and contracts that can be exploited for politically convenient purposes.


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