Europe’s Futures Fellow 2019/20


Photo description
© Davor Konjikušić
Institute for Public Affairs (IVO)
Illiberal Regression of Democracy as an Opportunity for Political Extremism: The Case of Slovakia

The working hypothesis with which the author of the proposed project works is the consideration that besides the strengthening of ethno-politics and the influence of unfavorable socioeconomic impacts on the population, no less important a factor in the rise of right-wing radicalism in Slovakia is the illiberal regression in the execution of power by non-extremist mainstream political forces (the moderate populists). This involves a tyranny of the majority, efforts to limit fair electoral competition, marginalization of the opposition (especially liberal-democratic forces), selective justice, attacks on independent media and civil associations and initiatives, state capture, nourishing the illiberal public discourse on democracy, freedom, human rights, other universal values, migration, the future of the EU, etc.

Grigorij Mesežnikov is a political scientist and founding president of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO), which was founded with the aim of spreading principles of democracy in Slovakia. He also worked at Comenius University and at the Political Science Institute at the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava. He has published extensively on the development of party systems and the political aspects of transformation in post-communist societies, illiberal and authoritarian tendencies, populism, radicalism, and nationalism in various monographs, collections, and scholarly journals in Slovakia and other countries. He regularly contributes analyses of Slovakia’s political scene to domestic and foreign media. He co-authored (with Tomáš Gális) the book 2018: Year of Protests (in Slovak).