Perpetually ‘Partly Free’: Post-Soviet Lessons on ‘Democratic Backsliding’ for Central and Eastern Europe

Thursday, July 13, 2017
JWS - Room J15 (J375) (University of Glasgow)
Eleanor Knott , Department of Methodology, London School of Economics
This paper discusses the lessons that can be drawn from post-Soviet experiences of democratization for debates of CEE ‘democratic backsliding’. Using the cases of Moldova and Ukraine, the paper explores the ebb and flow of post-Soviet democratization, focusing on issues of oligarchic state capture, personalised party systems and the use of identity politics by elites as a distraction from domestic reform. These issues are considered in terms of how they can inform debates of democratic backsliding, in particular the idea of a perfect form of democratic consolidation as opposed to the messy and perpetual post-Soviet condition of being ‘Party Free’.