Summary of the CEE workshop

Democratic backsliding in Europe: Theoretical and empirical perspectives
  • Picture : Wilm Ihlenfeld_ShutterstockPicture : Wilm Ihlenfeld_Shutterstock


The workshop, co-organised by Natasha Wunsch and Tom Theuns, brought together ten early career scholars from across Europe in a closed format for 1.5 days of discussion around paper drafts tackling the topic of democratic backsliding in Europe. The discussion was organised explicitly as an exchange between theoretical and empirical approaches to the topic, with each paper being discussed by a peer representing the opposite tradition. The confrontation with a new perspective proved fruitful, resulting in a lively and stimulating exchange around the dynamics of and appropriate responses to declining levels of democracy inside the European Union (EU).

The contributions ranged from discussions of the EU’s normative legitimacy to intervene in backsliding member states to legal and political responses of EU institutions to rule of law violations in member states, and from questions of bilateral cooperation between backsliding countries to processes of authoritarian diffusion within the EU. The workshop was supported by CEE, with a joint dinner sponsored by Leiden University’s Institute of Political Sciences.




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