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What Is Illiberalism? Discussion with Cas Mudde

Members of the AUTHLIB consortium met with Cas Mudde (Stanley Wade Shelton Ugaf Professor of International Affairs, University of Georgia) on June 8, 2023, for a hybrid workshop hosted at the CEU Democracy Institute on Budapest. The workshop focused on discussing AUTHLIB’s progress to date with the exchange touching on both conceptual and empirical questions regarding illiberalism.

The participants discussed approaches to defining the term ‘illiberalism’ and debated the usefulness of the concept for analytical purposes. With AUTHLIB entering into a phase of empirical data collection, much attention was devoted to the operationalization of the concept and potential ways of measuring its varieties, while recognizing the empirical overlap between illiberalism, authoritarianism, populism and the far right.


The workshop provided valuable contributions especially to the work packages led by SWPS University and Science Po, “Ideological configurations” and “Survey-based data collection and experiments”.

Research areas: