study of democracies in east-central Europe_democratic fatigue?_

Introduction: The State of Democracy 20 Years on

Domestic and External Factors

  1. Jacques Rupnik

    1. Sciences Po, Paris, France
  2. Jan Zielonka

    1. University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
  1. Jacques Rupnik, Sciences Po, 56 rue Jacob, Paris, 75006, France; e-mail:


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



page 6

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.)

page 21

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),


ps, 他还问了个好问题,为什么大家都知道做传统媒体是不赚钱,但是有钱人总是喜欢买media呢??

好的研究未见得一定有个说服力极强的论证或者理论, 若这样,提出有意思,有意义的问题,也是很有价值了。(学习之阿!)


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