Talk and Discussion
Prof. Grzegorz Ekiert, Harvard University
Tuesday, 11 July
Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS)
Mohrenstraße 60, 10117 Berlin
During the first two decades after 1989, countries of East Central Europe experienced an unprecedented democratization process. Consolidation of liberal democracy across the region was followed by the accession to the NATO and the European Union. At that time, it seemed that these countries became “normal” European democracies and that concerns about authoritarian reversal could be safely put to rest. Yet, the third decade of post-communism has brought to power governments that presided over the marked erosion of democratic principles and have begun deliberate assault on the rule of law and fundamental values of the European integration. This de-consolidation of liberal democracy is especially striking in Poland and Hungary, the two countries that led the region out of communist rule and were considered the success stories of post-communist transformations. This talk analysed the current situation in the region. It offered an explanatory account focusing on the critical problems of post-communist transformations and the role of divisions within political elites.
Grzegorz Ekiert is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Government, Director of of the Minda de Ginzburg Center for European Studies at the University of Harvard.