In recent years, several states in Central and Eastern Europe have seen democratic digression. Such illiberal resurgences came as a surprise to the many political scientists who assumed that the future of these states was democratic. Indeed, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the world largely regarded liberal democracy as the predominant system of government. The future seemed bright, and it was tempting to understand that future in evolutionary terms—just as humans evolved under natural selection to become the dominant species, democracy had survived a similar competition and defeated all other systems of government to become the dominant regime. Yet, if liberal democracy had really beaten the competition back in 1989, why do self-described illiberal democracies stubbornly persist today? To provide a different evolutionary approach, this paper tries to understand illiberal democracy in Central and Eastern Europe as the differential result of the 2008 financial crisis, rather than as the uniform result of deep historical trends.
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"The Finch Effect: Evolutionary Metaphors and Illiberal Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe,"
Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union:
Vol. 2019, Article 11.
Available at: https://scholarship.claremont.edu/urceu/vol2019/iss1/11
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