Democratic backsliding in Eastern Europe: Sequence, Strategies, Citizens
Democratic backsliding in Eastern Europe defies theoretical expectations regarding democratic consolidation and calls into question the effectiveness of external democracy promotion. The project investigates the nature and the causes of processes of democratic backsliding and their entrenchment in the post-Communist space. It adopts a mixed-methods approach and is organised into three work packages. The first consists of a quantitative analysis at the regional level of the sequencing of democratic erosion aimed at clarifying the nature and the unfolding of this new phenomenon. The second work package is based on case studies to examine the strategies of state actors engaged in democratic backsliding as well as domestic mobilisation in favour or against efforts to transform the political system. Finally, the third work package investigates the role of citizens and the motivations driving their continued support to the gradual erosion of democracy.