Bloodless Murder: Stefano Bottoni on How the Orbán Regime Was Made and What Hungary Has Become

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Stefano Bottoni – author of the new Hungarian-language book A hatalom megszállottja. Orbán Viktor Magyarországa (Obsessed with Power. Viktor Orbán’s Hungary) – discusses how the current political system has been built up in Hungary and which theories might help us analyse this process; reflects on the Orbán regime’s sources of legitimacy and internal contradictions; and explores the changing relationship of the country to the European Union and to Putin’s Russia.



Gregory Claeys on Utopianism and Democracy

In this public lecture, Gregory Claeys – Professor Emeritus of History – reviews the development of the anxious relationship between utopianism and democracy, touching on the fundamentally anti-political aspects of the utopian tradition, and the charge that the eternal search for near unanimity of opinion is fundamentally anti-democratic. The lecture examines the (mis)interpretation of utopia as "perfection", and the optimal role played by consent in utopian relationships. Finally, it asks whether we can achieve an environmental consensus in time to avert the catastrophic destruction of the planet, and what we can do in the absence of such a consensus.



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.


Book Reviews

Digital Fragmentation. Habermas on the New Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere

Markus Patberg reviews Jürgen Habermas’s new book Ein neuer Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit und die deliberative Politik [A New Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere and Deliberative Politics].



Constitutional Democracy’s Civic and Social Dimensions. On the Czech Presidential Election 

Jiří Přibáň comments the outcome of the recent presidential elections in the Czech Republic.


Dictionary of Received Ideas (About Fascism)

Engaging with the difficult task of deconstructing firmly rooted myths, Corner’s main goal is to answer two questions: (1) How far does the affirmation of “many good things” done by Fascism corresponds to the historical reality?; and (2) Why do so many people today share a “permissive memory” of Fascism?



Launch of CEU Democracy Institute Working Paper Series: Andreas Schedler – “Basic Democratic Trust”

The CEU DI Working Paper series has launched today. The first publication is “Basic Democratic Trust” by Andreas Schedler, Lead Researcher of the DI’s De- and Re-Democratization (DRD) Workgroup.


Asking the wrong questions, the wrong way: Why replicating “national consultations” is an inadequate response to their success

Although national referenda have become a rare species in post-2010 Hungary, the use of another instrument of plebiscitarian democracy—non-binding informal polls called national consultations—has not only been serving as a legitimization tool of government policies, but it has also been adopted by an opposition movement as a mobilization technique. This article argues that the strategic adoption of populist democratic repertoires, along with their main procedural flaws, is a threat to democratic representation. There is a need to shift discussions toward how these processes can be improved.


Informal Powers as a Barrier to EU Accession. Nino Tsereteli on Georgia’s EU Candidacy

In this podcast episode, Teodora Miljojkovic discusses with Nino Tsereteli the roadblocks to Georgia's accession to the European Union.  Their discussion covers how the response from Georgian citizen’s differs from the response of the Georgian government; what reforms are needed in order for Georgia to get closer to the compliance with the Copenhagen criteria; how informal powers negatively impact Georgian governance and how they can be overcome; and if Nino Tsereteli believes the will in both Georgia and the EU remain for progress towards EU accession.



A Path to Democracy Without Destabilization: Joseph Wong Explains the Types of Development and the Patterns of Uneven Democratization in Modern Asia

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Joseph Wong – co-author with Dan Slater of the new monograph "From Development to Democracy. The Transformations of Modern Asia" – discusses when and why regimes have chosen to democratize in modern Asia; how come types rather than levels of development have shaped countries' democratic prospects; why Singapore and China remain significantly less democratic than one might expect; and how studying the patterns of modern Asia can help us rethink democracy promotion today.


A turning point of democracy?

To mark the International Day of Democracy, we present an op-ed by Wolfgang Merkel examining the state of democracy around the world.


“In a way, the Turkish opposition is a huge success” Murat Somer on the political situation in Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has dominated Turkish Politics since 2002, but now the country finds itself in a massive economic crisis and the president has never been this unpopular. With elections to be held within a year, the long-oppressed opposition is therefore eyeing a historic opportunity to get rid of Erdoğan and his increasingly authoritarian regime. But what is the state of the Turkish opposition, and are they ready to seize the moment? Kasper Ly Netterstrøm talked about it with Professor Murat Somer from Koç University in Istanbul.


Change of framing and the need for peace in Ukraine: A reply to Szulecki and Wig

Responding to critiques of their op-ed on why the war in Ukraine should not be discussed using the "democracy vs. autocracy" framework, authors Irina Domurath and Stefano Palestini further develop why orienting the discussion around Russia's abuse of international law could draw more international support and avoid escalation into a Third World War.


The war in Ukraine is all about democracy vs dictatorship

A dictatorship has just brutally attacked its democratic neighbor. It’s not the first time in history that happens, but there are good reasons to see the war in Ukraine as the first one defining the conflict lines of this century.


Ukraine: not a war about democracy

In this op-ed by Irina Domurath and Stefano Palestini, they discuss the war in Ukraine and why the West should leave behind the narrative that this is a "war of values."


The Conference on the Future of Europe as a technopopulist experiment

Carlo Invernizzi Accetti and Federico Ottavio Reho in their op-ed for RevDem claim that political parties and other intermediary bodies are central for the democratization of the European Union.


Crisis as a trigger for new ways of thinking about politics

A conversation with Cesare Cuttica, László Kontler, and Clara Maier concerning their recently released volume, "Crisis and Renewal in the History of European Political Thought."


European support for democracy: stress-tests ahead in 2022

Ken Godfrey and Richard Youngs write about 5 issues on the horizon in 2022 that will test how far the EU really is committed to defending democratic values.


An Open Letter in Defense of Democracy

We are publishing an open letter signed by key figures from the American political life.


Stasavage: Democracy requires continuous effort (PODCAST AND LONG READ)

David Stasavage (New York University) in conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczo (Maastricht University) about his recent book “The Decline and Rise of Democracy”, which presents the global history of democracies since ancient times.


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