Neo-authoritarianisms in Europe and the liberal democratic response

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These days in Europe, neo-authoritarian and illiberal parties come to power in what were once thought of as consolidated democracies (e.g. Italy, Sweden). The multidisciplinary project AUTHLIB aims to explore diverse forms of opposition to democracy, as well as their social, psychological and historical causes, their organisational background and their political implications.

EU financeThis 3 year project (October 2022-September 2025) is funded by the European Commission as part of the Horizon Europe programme (Research and Innovation Actions).


The study aims to capture the dynamics of neo-authoritarian and illiberal ideologies in the European Union as a whole, focusing in particular on seven countries: Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland and the UK.

The Sciences Po team will be responsible for the mapping of democratic and neo-authoritarian, illiberal ideologies in present-day Europe. This will be based on the most extensive data-collection work in the project: party documents, speeches of public figures and social media activity of elites and engaged citizens. The team will combine expert surveys with quantitative text analyses.

Other work packages in the project will allow, for instance:

  • identifying the historico-cultural context of these ideologies,
  • identifying the factors leading to the support or rejection of these ideologies,
  • better understanding the transnational exchanges between illiberal movements and the policies implemented when they come to power.

The overall aim of the project is to provide policy makers with a toolbox to counter the various neo-authoritarian ideologies and improve support for liberal democracy.



Eight institutions from across Europe form the consortium led by the CEU Democracy Institute (Hungary): University of Oxford (UK), Sciences Po (France), Charles University (Czech Republic), Scuola Normale Superiore (Italy), SWPS University (Poland), The Transatlantic Foundation (Belgium) and the University of Vienna (Austria).


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