Back in the late 2000s, when all former Soviet satellites in Eastern Europe acquired full membership of the European Union, it appeared as if these countries were on their way to democratic normality. What happened instead was that many of them underwent democratic backsliding. As the region transitioned from the accession to the post-accession era, the institutional, legal and political parameters of elite action were dramatically and swiftly reconfigured in ways that facilitated the rise of ambitious, illiberal projects.
Venelin Ganev is Professor of Political Science at Miami University, Ohio. Currently he is a Visiting Fellow at the IWM.
Comments by Ivan Krastev (IWM Permanent Fellow)