Central European University (CEU) / Friedrich Ebert Foundation
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Filip Milacic will conduct research on his new book, Political Entrepreneurs vs. Democracy: Why are People Abandoning Democracy for the Nation, which will be published by Cambridge University Press. By examining the experiences of six countries (Serbia, Poland, Hungary, India, Israel, and Turkey) in which substantial democratic backsliding has recently occurred, the book depicts why, when, and how national-identity-related interests affect political behavior. In doing so, the book answers three key questions:
(1) How does subversion of democracy in the name of the nation unfold?
(2) How do we explain voters’ acquiescence to the subversion of democracy by ethno-nationalist elites?
(3) Under what circumstances is the subversion of democracy in the name of the nation more likely to succeed?
The answers to these questions are valuable beyond the six countries under investigation as they help us to better understand similar challenges that other democracies have been facing or could very well face soon. These insights will tell us what is key to resisting the subversion of democracy in the name of the nation.
Milačić is currently doing research for a book titled "Stateness and Democratic Consolidation: Lessons From Former Yugoslavia" that will be published by Springer, Wiesbaden. In his new book, he investigates the democratization processes on the territory of former Yugoslavia with an emphasis on two aspects: different outcomes in the democracy consolidation process and reasons for recent democratic backsliding. He identifies the unresolved issues of territory and national identity as responsible for an erratic and zigzagging course toward a consolidated democracy that has been marked by sluggish progress coupled with episodes of stagnation and declining democratic quality. He furthermore argues that what makes the democratization process additionally uncertain under the conditions of unresolved issues of territory and national identity is the fact that these mentioned issues have a potential to entirely derail the trajectory and cause an authoritarian reversal. He believes that these lessons could be very valuable in order to better understand the chances for the success of democratization processes of many countries within the post-communist context. Hence, an additional focus of the book is on Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, and Moldova.