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Issue 2 2017: Is the world turning upside down?

August 30, 2016 - New Eastern Europe - Issue

cover 2 2017 final

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If there is one phrase that is being repeated like a mantra in 2017, it is that “the world is upside down”. During public and private discussions from Warsaw to Prague, Berlin, Brussels, London and even Washington we see a growing sentiment that we can no longer make basic assumptions about the infallibility of liberal democracy. Of course, a lot of this sentiment is related to the rise of anti-liberal (or illiberal) populist forces in both the eastern and western parts of Europe (not to mention the United States) and the concerns that go along with this rise. There is no doubt that a real challenge to the current liberal democratic order is taking place, including in many countries of our region. Hence, the question that arises is – if the liberal democratic order is indeed no longer sound, what is the alternative?

This issue of New Eastern Europe debates the state of liberal democracy in Europe and specifically adds the voices from our region. We not only asked our authors to interpret the rise of populist, anti-liberal attitudes, but also present voices from those who do not think it is such a terrible thing. Agree with them or not, their arguments allow us to understand their perspective and force us to interpret why traditional, conservative politics are becoming more popular in Central and Eastern Europe. They also presents a certain reflection of similar processes taking place in the West, in such countries as France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands or the United States. Lastly, the role of outside influence, like Russian propaganda, is also one that needs to be taken into account in this context.

These developments will also likely have an effect on Ukraine – a country which has declared a pro-European path but still struggles with its post-Soviet heritage. There is no question that Ukraine’s success directly depends upon how politics develops in the West. That is why this issue looks at the process, or lack thereof, of de-oligarchisation, the fight against corruption, the situation of the Crimean Tatars and the current state of Polish-Ukrainian relations.




No alternative to liberal democracy? – Samuel Abrahám

Illiberalism – György Schöpflin

Illiberal winds from the East – Bartosz Rydliński

Europe needs a return to its true values – Boško Obradović

A far right hijack of Intermarium – Matthew Kott

The world is fundamentally changing – Raivis Zeltīts

Facts need to matter, no matter what – Mateusz Mazzini and Miłosz Wiatrowski

Homo politicus, Homo passionis – Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska

The five rings of the empire – Paweł Kowal

Chaos or Stability – Marcin Kaczmarski

The abandonment of Ukraine? – David R. Marples

The oligarchs strike back – Tadeusz Iwański

Crimean Tatars losing hope – Ridvan Bari De Urcosta

Celebrating diversity in Kyiv – Anna Kotaleichuk

Georgia’s unwavering or unravelling pro-European direction – Eugene Kogan


Mariupol on the edge of war – Wojciech Koźmic


I am personally very Euro-optimistic – An interview with Andrii Deshchytsia

Poland fully supports the Ukrainian cause – An interview with Jan Piekło


Russia between revolutions – A conversation with Sylwia Frołow

Doroshenko’s third way – Tomasz Targański


Integration starts at home – Anna Fedas

The story of Poland’s multinational history – Elżbieta Ciborska

Estonia faces challenges both old and new with integration efforts – Michael Amundsen


How Russia understands international law – Przemysław Roguski

Caught in the storyline – Kacper Dziekan

Through Crimea with Eldar – Wojciech Siegień

Forgotten heroes of a forgotten war – Andrzej Zaręba

A Ukrainian miracle – Olena Pavlova



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