Issue 11 | November 2021 |
Research Projects
Call for papers
Upcoming event:
Monday, November 8, 2021
4:00 - 5:00 PM (EDT)
Christophe Jaffrelot shows how Modi’s government has moved India toward a new form of democracy, an ethnic democracy that equates the majoritarian community with the nation and relegates Muslims and Christians to second-class citizens who are harassed by vigilante groups.
Past event:
Anti-Gender Politics in the Populist Moment
Elżbieta Korolczuk presented her new book, co-authored with Agnieszka Graff, Anti-Gender Politics in the Populist Moment, which charts the new phase of global struggles around gender equality and sexual democracy: the ultraconservative mobilization against "gender ideology" and feminist efforts to counteract it.
Online Publications
In exactly one year, the Brazilian people will go to the polls to elect a new president or reelect Jair Bolsonaro. The hybrid nature of Bolsonaro's populism helps explain what happened leading to 2018 and what it means going forward.
Skylar Knight on the extent of Viktor Orbán's transformation of Hungarian society and the structural reasons behind the change.
A. James McAdams on his new edited volume, Contemporary Far-Right Thinkers and the Future of Liberal Democracy, and how far-right ideologues influence conservative, populist, and illiberal movements.
Péter Krekó on Viktor Orban's transformation of Hungary into a center of illiberalism in Europe, the evolution of Fidesz and Jobbik, and the role of conspiracy theories in Hungarian politics.
Editors Michelle Kaltenbach and Scott L. Greer examine the health policy of populist radical right parties in ten worldwide case studies, explaining the particular welfare and public health policies authoritarian, nationalist, and populist parties actually stand for.

Two papers analyze the post-2015 democratic rollback in Poland to determine whether or not it has affected its support of democratization in Ukraine and Belarus. Tsveta Petrova and Paulina Pospieszna argue that, despite autocratization at home, Polish support for democracy abroad has not been abandoned completely. Aleksandra Monkos focuses on the role of Polish NGOs in democracy promotion arguing that a decline in activity highlights the important role such organizations play.

In this chapter of Interactive Propaganda, Yunkang Yan and Lance Bennett propose an interactive propaganda model that discusses the interplay between the Trump administration and Fox News regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine as a miracle cure for COVID-19. 

Rico Isaacs, Johnathan Wheatley, and Sarah Whitmore discuss “Culture Wars” in the post-Soviet space, arguing that, like other post-secular conflicts, these culture wars are driven by those wanting to restore tradition, faith, and family to the national spirit in response to the perceived erosion of those values by liberal progressives advocating gender and LGBTQI rights. 

Mihail Chiru and Natash Wunsch explore whether democratic backsliding among EU member states has acted as a catalyst for broader populist radical right (PRR) cooperation at the EU level. Their methods include studying co-sponsorship and contents of parliamentary questions and roll-call vote cohesion of PRR representatives in the European Parliament from 2009-2019. 

DB Subedi examines Sri Lanka’s “illiberal” peace building through the lens of populist nationalism: a distinct form of post-war political order characterized by national politics with a populist orientation. Subedi identities three interrelated dimensions of populist nationals – the leadership question, new social polarization, and crisis and securitization narratives. 

Juraj Buzalka shows how counter-movement emotions can be successfully employed by both reactionary and liberal leaders, specifically in Slovakia, where the introduction of liberal reforms has generated counter-movements that build upon nostalgia for state socialism.

Looking at Jair Bolsonaro’s foreign policy, Guilherme Stolle Paixão e Casarões argues that Brazil’s foreign policy has been transformed by three new pillars, anti-globalism, anti-Communism, and religious nationalism. This has shifted Brazil from being a staunch supporter of the liberal international order to one of its most vocal critics.

In this volume of Journal of Democracy, Stephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman examine the mechanisms by which democratic backsliding takes place. Using 16 case studies from Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa, and the United States, they address questions such as how duly elected rulers weaken checks and balances, curtail civil and political liberties, and undermine the electoral process. 
For more resources on illiberal, populist, and authoritarian trends across the globe, consult our growing Resource Hub aggregating hundreds of published academic articles on illiberalism and other topics relating to illiberal movements. From security and international affairs, to democratic backsliding and public policy, this center of longstanding and recently-published literature continues to document ongoing global trends of growing illiberal movements around the world.

Illiberalism Studies Program
Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES)
Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
1957 E Street, NW | Suite 412 | Washington, DC | 20052