The Emergence of Illiberalism : Understanding a Global Phenomenon book cover
1st Edition

The Emergence of Illiberalism
Understanding a Global Phenomenon

ISBN 9780367366247
Published July 27, 2020 by Routledge
272 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $46.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

As illiberal and authoritarian trends are on the rise—both in fragile and seemingly robust democracies—there is growing concern about the longevity of liberalism and democracy. The purpose of this volume is to draw on the analytical resources of various disciplines and public policy approaches to reflect on the current standing of liberal democracy. Leading social scientists from different disciplinary backgrounds aim to examine the ideological and structural roots of the current crisis of liberal democracies, in the West and beyond, conceptually and empirically.

The volume is divided into two main parts:

  • Part I explores tensions between liberalism and democracy in a longer-term, historical perspective to explain immanent vulnerabilities of liberal democracy. Authors examine the conceptual foundations of Western liberal democracy that have shaped its standing in the contemporary world. What lies at the core of illiberal tendencies?
  • Part II explores case studies from the North Atlantic, Eastern Europe, Turkey, India, Japan, and Brazil, raising questions whether democratic crises, manifested in the rise of populist movements in and beyond the Western context, differ in kind or only in degree. How can we explain the current popular appeal of authoritarian governments and illiberal ideas?

The Emergence of Illiberalism will be of great interest to teachers and students of politics, sociology, political theory and comparative government.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Democracy, Contested: Causes of Illiberalism

1. From a Politics of No Alternative to a Politics of Fear

Michael Weinman and Boris Vormann

2. What does a Legitimation Crisis Mean Today?

Brian Milstein

3. Illiberal Democracy and the Struggle on the Right

Marc Plattner

4. Illiberal Democracy? A Tocquevillian Perspective

Ewa Atanassow

5. The Open Society from a Conservative Perspective

Roger Scruton

6. The Failing Technocratic Prejudice and the Challenge to Liberal Democracy

Roger Berkowitz

Part 2: Democracy, Distorted: Cases of Illiberalism

7. Global Trumpism: Understanding Anti-System Politics in Western Democracies

Jonathan Hopkin and Mark Blyth

8. The Crisis of Democracy: The United States in Perspective

Christian Lammert

9. The European Union and Its Chances for Democratic Revitalization

Claudia Wiesner

10. Eastern Europe’s Illiberal Revolution

Ivan Krastev

11. Illiberal Democracy or Electoral Autocracy: The Case of Turkey

Gülçin Balamir Coşkun and Aysuda Kölemen

12. India’s Unofficial Emergency

Nandini Sundar

13. Japan: Land of the Rising Right

Kristin Surak

14. "It’s all corrupt": The Roots of Bolsonarism in Brazil

Esther Solano

Part 3: Epilogue: Persevering through a Crisis of Conviction

15. Populism and Democracy: The Long View

Craig Calhoun

View More



Boris Vormann is Professor of Politics and Director of the Politics Section at Bard College Berlin. His research focuses on the role of the state in globalization and urbanization processes; nations and nationalism; and the crisis of democracy. His most recent books are Democracy in Crisis: The Neoliberal Roots of Popular Unrest (with Christian Lammert, 2019), and Contours of the Illiberal State (2019).

Michael Weinman is Professor of Philosophy at Bard College Berlin. He is the author of three books, most recently, The Parthenon and Liberal Education (2018, co-authored with Geoff Lehman), and the editor (with Shai Biderman) of Plato and the Moving Image (2019). His research focuses on Greek philosophy, political philosophy, and their intersection.


"This rich book is an act of guardianship. Filled with fascinating and incisive essays, it probes the recrudescence of anti-liberal and non-liberal regimes that often claim to be excellent democracies, better than the liberal variant. For those of us wishing to secure the rule of law and individual and public rights, political liberalism's hallmarks, there is no more vexing challenge."

Ira I. Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University

"In presenting a multiplicity of perspectives on the broad and timely issue of illiberal democracy, The Emergence of Illiberalism fills a major gap in current scholarly literature. Examining the rise of illiberal politics from numerous angles, this volume will provide an excellent foundation for readers seeking to understand contemporary political conditions."

Phillip W. Gray, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Texas A&M University at Qatar