‘No such thing as illiberal democracy’?


There’s no such thing as an illiberal democracy. It’s a contradiction in terms, according to Central European University’s Michael Ignatieff, You either have a democracy with those institutions or you start not to have any democracy at all, he tells Carnegie Council host Stephanie Sy of Yahoo News (above):

These are countries where you have a single leader who says, “I’m a democrat because I was elected by the people.” But—here’s the point—he uses democracy to crush democracy. He gets power and then he neutralizes the media, he neutralizes the courts, he locks up dissenters, he shuts off the universities. He says he’s a democrat, but he has been using democratic means to shut off democracy. That may be the most single dangerous thing that’s happening in the 21st century right now. RTWT

Are we really experiencing the rise of “militant illiberal democracies”? 

The answer in this regard is rather a straightforward no. It is neither necessary, nor correct to introduce the concept of “militant illiberal democracies” to describe autocratisation, instead of just calling it autocratisation, he writes for Visegrad Insight.

Sheri Berman’s substantial new history of democracy in Europe offers useful insights on the question of why democracy sometimes succeeds but often does not. Yet Western democracies are now experiencing tectonic shifts, and history offers only a limited guide to understanding their future, Carnegie’s Thomas Carothers adds.


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