What, where and whose democracy? – Resetting Democratisation in Southeast Europe vis-à-vis Autocratic Temptations

Research Paper by Francesco Trupia



This paper points out that already-existing good practices of performing democracy in SEE can unleash potential change and defuse autocratic methods of doing politics.

This research paper sheds light on the stagnation of the democratisation process in Southeast Europe amidst the still-unfolding Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s war against Ukraine. It particularly explores how the epidemiological crisis has put democracy on hold, and how the turmoil in Europe’s eastern neighbourhood has further eroded democratisation in the region. It also assesses how democratisation itself risks slide into irrelevance in light of the EU’s sleepwalking and the autocratic temptations of external actors that win the heart of most citizens. This research paper concludes with providing a series of policy recommendations aimed at tackling people’s dissatisfaction with the way democracy works in the region, and supporting already-existing good practices of civic activism and participation that defuse autocratic methods of doing politics.


About the author

Francesco Trupia, PhD, is an Adjunct Researcher at the Centre for Excellence IMSErt at the Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń (Poland), and a KRAF Fellow at the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society. Trupia has been also intern at the Caucasus Research Resource Centre (CRRC) in Armenia, and the Institute for Islamic Strategic Affairs (IISA) in the UK. Much of his research has specialised on identity politics, democratisation and minority policies in Southeast Europe and Caucasus.

#democratisation #southeasteurope #localdemocracy #europeanunion #civilsociety