Illiberal Politics in Southeast Europe: How Ruling Elites Undermine Democracy

Authors: Damir Kapidžić & Věra Stojarová (Editors)
Year: 2022
Title: Illiberal Politics in Southeast Europe: How Ruling Elites Undermine Democracy
Publisher: Routledge, London
ISBN: 9781032076898
Date published online: September 2021


Book Description:
The world is increasingly becoming less democratic and this trend has not left Southeast Europe untouched. But instead of democratic breakdown what we are witnessing is a gradual decline and the rise of competitive authoritarian regimes.
This book aims to give a country-by-country overview of how illiberal politics has led to a decline in democracy and the re-emergence of autocratic governance in Southeast Europe, more specifically in the Western Balkans. It defines illiberal politics as the everyday practices through which ruling parties undermine democratic institutions in order to remain in power. Individual chapters examine recent political developments and identify practices of illiberal politics that target electoral institutions, rule of law, media freedom, judicial independence, and enable political patronage, while several thematic chapters comparatively explore cross-regional patterns.
This book addresses academics, policymakers, and practitioners with professional interest in Southeast Europe or democratic decline and is both timely and relevant as the European Union attempts to reengage with the countries of the Western Balkans.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies.


Table of Contents:

1. The rise of illiberal politics in Southeast Europe
Damir Kapidžić
2. The political economy behind the gradual demise of democratic institutions in Serbia
Dušan Pavlović
3. Institutional and symbolic aspects of illiberal politics: the case of North Macedonia (2006-2017)
Borjan Gjuzelov and Milka Ivanovska Hadijevska
4. The elephant in the room: illiberal politics in Montenegro
Olivera Komar
5. Subnational competitive authoritarianism and power-sharing in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Damir Kapidžić
6. Soft competitive authoritarianism and negative stability in Kosovo: statebuilding from UNMIK to EULEX and beyond
Adem Beha and Arben Hajrullahu
7. Influencing votes, winning elections: clientelist practices and private funding of electoral campaigns in Albania
Gentiana Kera and Armanda Hysa
8. Structural weaknesses and the role of the dominant political party: democratic backsliding in Croatia since EU accession
Dario Čepo
9. Media in the Western Balkan: who controls the past controls the future
Věra Stojarová
10. Rule of law and democracy in the Western Balkans: addressing the gap between policies and practice
Marko Kmezić
11. Big dreams and small steps: comparative perspective on the social movement struggle for democracy in Serbia and North Macedonia
Gazela Pudar Draško, Irena Fiket and Jelena Vasiljević
12. Moving towards EU membership and away from liberal democracy
Věra Stojarová


Suggested citation:

Kapidžić, D. & Stojarová, V. 2021. Illiberal Politics in Southeast Europe: How Ruling Elites Undermine Democracy. London: Routledge.