Ivan Krastev



Ivan Krastev (1965, Lukovit/Bulgaria) is chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, and Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna (IWM). He is a founding board member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the advisory board of the ERSTE Foundation, a member of the global advisory board of Open Society Foundations, New York, and a member of the advisory council of the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) and the European Cultural Foundation (ECF). He is also associate editor of Europe’s World and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Democracy and Transit – Europäische Revue. From 2004 to 2006 Ivan Krastev has been the executive director of the International Commission on the Balkans chaired by the former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato. He was the editor-in-chief of the Bulgarian Edition of Foreign Policy and was a member of the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London (2005-2011).  He has held fellowships at St. Antony’s College  (Oxford); the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars (Washington, D.C.); the Collegium Budapest; the Wissenschaftskolleg (Berlin); the Institute of Federalism at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland); and the Remarque Institute at New York University.


Selected Publications:

After Europe

After Europe, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017.

Democracy Disrupted: The Politics of Global Protest, Philadelphia: University of Pensylvania Press, 2014.

In Mistrust We Trust: Can Democracy Survive When We Don’t Trust Our Leaders?, New York: TED Books, 2013.

The Anti-American Century (co-edited with Alan McPherson), Budapest: CEU Press, 2007.

Shifting Obsessions: Three Essays on the Politics of Anticorruption, Budapest: CEU Press, 2004

Furthermore, he has published widely in international journals and papers.

[Complete List of Publications]


Former affiliations at the IWM:
May 2009–August 2010, Visiting Fellow
2002, Visiting Fellow



Wie tickt Putin?

Politologe und IWM Permanent Fellow Ivan Krastev hatte die seltene Gelegenheit, in kleinem Kreis mit Wladimir Putin zu dinieren – und dabei die Weltsicht des Kreml-Chefs zu erkunden.
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Demokracja: Przepraszamy za usterki

Poczucie kryzysu demokracji wydaje się dziś powszechne – kłopoty integracji Unii Europejskiej, oligarchizacja polityki w USA, efektywność gospodarcza reżimów autorytarnych i rosnąca niechęć do tradycyjnych partii, liderów politycznych i samych państw sprzyjają wizjom schyłku świata jaki znamy. Turbulencjom gospodarczym, wzrostowi nierówności i wypaleniu się tradycyjnej polityki towarzyszy wielka fala społecznego niezadowolenia. Na ulice i place …
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The Balkans Are the Soft Underbelly of Europe

Could the Balkans be the next playground for Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, and his politics of destabilisation? Angela Merkel recently floated the possibility. It is worth taking seriously.
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The New European Disorder

The annexation of Crimea has forced the EU to confront the fact that its post-modern order is not going to take over the continent, let alone the world. Whilst the EU has done better than its critics imagine in holding together in the face of Russian aggression, Europeans have not united around a strategy for moving beyond the current disorder.
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Putin on Ice

Global temperatures are rising, but the former Soviet Union’s frozen conflicts show no sign of a thaw. On the contrary, the ice is expanding. Russia’s support for the election held by separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk – key cities in Ukraine’s Donbas region – indicates that the Kremlin has decided to create another semi-permanent “mini-Cold War,” this time in rebel-controlled areas of Russia’s most important neighboring country.
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The Dilemmas of Protest Politics

In the period 2009-2014 political protests have erupted in more than 70 countries of the world, both democracies and non-democracies. In most of the cases the protests were led neither by a political party or trade union. The protesters were openly anti-institutional and mistrustful towards both the market and the state, and they lacked any coherent ideology.  In this lecture I will claim that these “movements of mistrust” do not claim power and do not offer political alternative to the status quo but they do represent an effective strategy of citizen empowerment in the age of globalization when the power of citizens derives mostly from their ability to disrupt.
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Putin’s Losing Streak – The Malaysia Airlines Disaster and the New Sanctions on Russia

Putin’s march into Ukraine last spring did not change the world. It barely even changed Europe. The EU hesitated to label the aggression as an act of war. And, although the United States and the EU agreed to impose sanctions on Moscow, the real debate in Western capitals was not how to respond, but rather, how to express resolve while doing as little as possible.
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Democracy Disrupted: The Politics of Global Protest

Since the financial meltdown of 2008, political protests have spread around the world like chain lightning, from the “Occupy” movements of the United States, Great Britain, and Spain to more destabilizing forms of unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Russia, Thailand, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Ukraine. In Democracy Disrupted: The Politics of Global Protest, IWM Permanent Fellow Ivan …
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Putin’s World

The West is now living in Putin’s world. It is there not because Putin is right, or even because he is stronger, but because he is taking the initiative. Putin is “wild” while the West is “wary.” While European and American leaders recognize that the world order is undergoing a dramatic change, they cannot quite grasp it. They remain overwhelmed by Putin’s transformation from CEO of Russia, Inc., into an ideology-fueled national leader who will stop at nothing to restore his country’s influence.
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Russian Revisionism. Putin’s Plan For Overturning the European Order

Russia’s willingness to violate Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty is the gravest challenge to the European order in over half a century. The conflict pits a vast nuclear power against a state equal in size to France, an autocratic regime against a revolutionary government.
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  • Democracy in Question

    What are the causes of the current disappointment with democracy, and how will they affect the capacity of democratic societies to remain self-correcting? This project offers a platform to discuss these fundamental questions.
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