Trailer: Imitation and its Discontents: Democratic Malaise in Post-Communist Europe

Trailer: Imitation and its Discontents: Democratic Malaise in Post-Communist Europe


The problem with imitation of
the west, and this is particularly strong
in the European Union, is that you’re imitating
something that is changing all the time. Unfortunately most regions of
the world today are living through what my co-editor
Larry Diamond has dubbed a democratic recession. But
perhaps no region has dissapointed democratic hopes
so much over the last few years as Central and
Eastern Europe. So you ended up with the
political regimes which were trying and
successfully managed to put together elements of liberal
democracy which were totally liberal in its nature. And as a result of it the
problem was not anymore, “What is the problem with
Central Europe?” The problem was to what extent
the changes that you see in places like Central Europe
and others are going to affect the
model itself. The fastness of the change and
the fact that the change came much more from imitating
other standards and models, than basically as the result of
the internal cultural developments and struggles
of course affects the legitimacy of the process. Democracy always had a major
advantage over non-democratic society and this was a principle
advantage. It has a capacity for self
correction. And in my view, the major crisis
of democracy when people are going to ask
me when democracy is in crisis? This is when
democracy starts to lose the capacity for
self correction.

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