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Declining Democracy in East-Central Europe

The Divide in the EU and Emerging Hard Populism

Attila Ágh

The dramatic decline of democracy in East-Central Europe has attracted great interest world-wide. Going beyond the narrow spectrum of the extensive literature on this topic, this book offers a comprehensive analysis of ECE region – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia – from systemic change in 1989 to 2019 to explain the reasons of the collapse of ECE democratic systems in the 2010s.
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Postscript: Democracy renewal and alternatives for redemocratization

Attila Ágh


After the dreams of evolutionary, ‘easy’ integration, or the ‘Western fallacy’, a new, realistic scenario has to be outlined for catching up with the West and the redemocratization of the ECE region. Despite the populist pressure from ECE governments blaming ‘Brussels’ for all their problems, the European identity of the ECE population has strengthened. The last few decades have seen the period of a long learning process in democratization. A new generation has emerged in these troubled decades, socialized in democratic values, able and ready to restart the Europeanization and democratization process in the New World Order. The millions of ‘Easterners’ living in the West can also initiate and support redemocratization in ECE by mobilizing the Europeanized strata and young people at home in order to effect a new historical turn to join the European mainstream as some kind of ‘re-entry’ to the EU.

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