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Book Sections Year : 2023

Illiberal Democracy and Hybrid Regimes in East-Central Europe


After the fall of the Communist regimes in 1989, the new political order in East-Central Europe (ECE) was inspired by the liberal project. This pertained primarily to the political realm, with the transition followed by democratic consolidation, ushering in a political system founded on free elections, constitutionalism, and the separation of powers. Furthermore, it also concerned the economic system being converted to a market economy, integrated into that of the European Union and, more generally, open to international trade. Finally, it brought about, to varying degrees, an evolution toward the development of civil society and more open societies characterized by a culture of tolerance and pluralism. This triple transformation created the conditions for integration into the European Union for these countries, which was then considered a point of no return. The European perspective and the process of accession based on conditionality functioned as an external anchor for the transition and the consolidation of these new democracies. Their integration into the Union was perceived as an irreversible democratic commitment, if not “the end of history” as described in Francis Fukuyama’s essay.
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hal-03980745 , version 1 (09-02-2023)


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Jacques Rupnik. Illiberal Democracy and Hybrid Regimes in East-Central Europe. Katerina Kolozova, Niccolò Milanese (Eds). “Illiberal Democracies” in Europe: An Authoritarian Response to the Crisis of Illiberalism, The Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, pp.9-16, 2023, 979-8-9865831-3-6. ⟨hal-03980745⟩
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