Skip to main content

Towards Illiberal Constitutionalism in East Central Europe: Historical Analysis in Comparative and Transnational Perspectives

October, 2021 - September, 2025
Volkswagen Foundation
Lead researchers
Project managers

According to a Western understanding of politics, the word “illiberal” is difficult to associate with a democracy: liberty (individual freedom) is a basic element of constitutional democracy. Yet, some democratically elected governments in Eastern Central Europe (above all, Hungary and Poland) aggressively promote an illiberal version of democracy — and transform states and societies accordingly. What is the underlying constitutional understanding? What lines of tradition is it based on? And what does that mean for Europe? The project is supported by The Volkswagen Foundation’s funding program “Challenges for Europe” with a total of almost 1.5 million euros (250,000 euros for the sub-project at the Democracy Institute). The team at CEU will investigate the rise and constitutional underpinnings of illiberal Christian democracy.

Visit the project's website

Funded by Volkswagen Foundation