Introduction: The State of Democracy 20 Years on
Domestic and External Factors
- Jacques Rupnik, Sciences Po, 56 rue Jacob, Paris, 75006, France; e-mail: Jacques.Rupnik@sciences-po.fr
The countries of East-Central Europe (ECE) embarked on a democratic transition in 1989 were proclaimed consolidated democracies when they joined the European Union (EU) in 2004. Today most of the new democracies are experiencing “democratic fatigue” and some seem vulnerable to an authoritarian turn. The EU, seen as the guarantor of the post-1989 democratic changes, is experiencing an unprecedented economic, financial, and democratic crisis with the combined challenges of technocracy and populism. The article explores the different approaches to the study of democracies in ECE, their specific features and vulnerabilities, and tries to provide an interpretation of the premature crisis of democracy in ECE in a broader transeuropean context.
Published online before printJanuary 21, 2013, doi:10.1177/0888325412465110East European Politics & SocietiesFebruary 2013 vol. 27 no. 1 3-25
Contemporary authors often qualify the term democracy by adding adjectives such as liberal (or illiberal), deliberative, representative, participatory, delegative, facade, direct (or indirect), electoral, hybrid, Western, Islamic, and so on. Some of the adjectives used are value laden. In the case of Central and Eastern Europe, the adjectives “new”, “post-communist,” and “transitory” imply that these democracies in Western Europe. But does a “young” democratic automatically become “old” after a certain number of free and fair elections? If not, what are the prerequisites of an established or consolidated democracy? How many years or reforms are required for a formerly communist country to become “normal” rather than just “post-communist”? (for instance, today the Spanish or Italian democracy is hardly ever labelled post-facist.)
The disturbing question is the ease with which consolidated democracies such as Hungary can experience “democractic regression”, reminding us that democracies by their very nature are never”definitely established”.
As Poland was under the Kaczynski twins, Hungary today is probably an explicit version of the possibility of democratic regression and populist temptation in established democracies.
这是作者5年的media and democracy 的比较研究（Poland 和Hungray）的研究成果。他认为，现在以及将来的主要威胁，来自于金融危机和全球资本市场的变动。
page 20. Today it is the crisis and the markets that threaten to undermine consolidated democracies. (In Southern Europe as much as in Eastern Europe)
page 20-21 The two dominant responses to the crisis have recently been the parallel rise of technocracy (as a substitute for elected governments in Greece or Italy) and of populism (against technocratic elites, in defense of national sovereignty with varying degrees of xenophobia),