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From the Political Situation in Turkey to Ghostwriting in the EU

Read the latest publications by the Review of Democracy, our online journal.

“In a Way, the Turkish Opposition Is a Huge Success”

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has dominated Turkish politics since 2002, but now the country finds itself in a massive economic crisis and the president has never been this unpopular. With elections to be held within a year, the long-oppressed opposition is therefore eyeing a historic opportunity to get rid of Erdoğan and his increasingly authoritarian regime. But what is the state of the Turkish opposition, and are they ready to seize the moment? Kasper Ly Netterstrøm talked about it with Professor Murat Somer from Koç University in Istanbul.

Read it here.

Joseph Weiler: The Books That Formed My Intellectual Outlook

As part of a new RevDem series where editors ask prominent scholars to describe the books and other works that have shaped them: both in a general intellectual sense and in the field of democracy studies, Joseph Weiler, an eminent scholar, renowned expert on European, international and constitutional law, former president of the European University Institute and professor at New York University, shares a longer list of books that have shaped his academic and intellectual outlook.

Read it here.

“Rights, if You Can Keep Them”

Teodora Miljojkovic interviews Professor John Shattuck, international legal scholar, diplomat, human rights leader and previous CEU rector. Teodora and Professor Shattuck discussed the book “Holding Together – the Hijacking of Rights in America and How to Reclaim Them for Everyone” by Professor Shattuck, Sushma Rahman and Matthias Riss from the Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University.

Read or listen to it here.

“Post-war Christian Democracy Was Relatively Short-lived”

In this conversation with Ferenc Laczó, Fabio Wolkenstein – author of the new book Die dunkle Seite der Christdemokratie. Geschichte einer autoritaeren Versuchung (The Dark Side of Christian Democracy. The History of an Authoritarian Temptation) – sketches the broad variety of Christian politics across modern Europe.

Read or listen to it here.

“War Is for the Weak”

Ferenc Laczó reviews Stella Ghervas’ major new monograph Conquering Peace. From the Enlightenment to the European Union, a stylishly written, often stimulating, if slightly unusual scholarly monograph. Ghervas has penned what she calls “a theatrical dialogue in five acts that portrays Europe’s resistance to empires while trying to keep free of armed conflicts.”

Read it here.

5 Questions to a Scholar: Jeffrey Goldfarb

As the beginning of a new RevDem series where editors talk with academics in the field of democracy studies and inquire about their most formative cultural experiences. For the first installment, RevDem Editor Kasia Krzyżanowska invited Professor Jeffrey C. Goldfarb to explain which films and books have impacted him throughout his life.

Read it here.

Voters Turn Towards Symbolic Personalities When They Are Disappointed With Political Parties

Zsolt Enyedi discusses party cooperation in Slovenia with Danica Fink-Hafner, Professor and Head of the Political Science Research Program at the University of Ljubljana, and expert on party politics, European integration, nation-building, interest-representation and democratization.

Read or listen to it here.

Beyond the “Mafia-state”: A Comprehensive and Innovative Approach to Post-communist Regimes

Gábor Illés, Research Fellow at the Department for Democracy and Political Theory of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence, reviews “The Anatomy of Post-Communist Regimes: A Conceptual Framework” (CEU Press, 2021) by Bálint Magyar and Bálint Madlovics.

Read it here.

Democracy Depends on Those Who Are Harder to Fool

Ferenc Laczó speaks with Daniel Treisman – co-author, with Sergei Guriev, of Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century – discusses how ‘spin dictatorships’ differ from ‘fear dictatorships’; why this form of dictatorship has emerged and spread; what might explain the at times notable popularity of such regimes; and why an informed citizenry should be seen as crucial to the defense of liberal democracy.

Read or listen to it here.

A Global History of Hungary: In Conversation With Ferenc Laczó, Bálint Varga, and Dóra Vargha

In this conversation with Bence Bari and Orsolya Sudár, editors Ferenc Laczó and Bálint Varga and contributor Dóra Vargha discuss the new volume Magyarország globális története, 1869-2022 (A Global History of Hungary, 1869-2022). The conversation focuses on some of the innovative questions posed by trying to reconceptualize the history of a Central and Eastern European country in a global frame, and much more.

Listen to it here.

Free Speech, Equality, and Tolerance Are Mutually Reinforcing

Jacob Mchangama discusses central ideas of his new monograph Free Speech: A Global History from Socrates to Social Media with RevDem Editor Ferenc Laczó. The conversation reflects on how to write a global history of this subject; contrasts egalitarian and elitist conceptions of free speech; explores facets of the free speech recession experienced in the early 21st century; and explains why the counterintuitive principle of free speech is essential.

Read or listen to it here.

Adventitious Patron of Freedom

Colm Tóibín's recent novel The Magician tells the story of Thomas Mann from cradle to old age, and consists of eighteen chapters describing selected life episodes. In this review, RevDem Editor Kasia Krzyżanowska writes: “Tóibín’s book shows the absurdity of the widespread expectation that it is the writer who is supposed to be the nation’s sage, who will point out the right political direction for the state, and who will find the right words to comment on important social events."

Read it here.

Ghostwriting the European Union

In a conversation with our editor Kasia Krzyżanowska, professor Tommaso Pavone discusses his newly published book The Ghostwriters. Lawyers and the Politics behind the Judicial Construction of Europe [CUP 2022]. He challenges the judicial empowerment thesis leveraging empirical data obtained from the EU national judiciaries; explains the role that the local Euro-lawyers played in the judicial construction of Europe; and more.

Read or listen to it here.