SCRIPTS - Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script” - Rise of (Populist) Authoritarianism


What are the causes of the crisis of democracy? How can political practice be shaped, and how can democracy be changed in real terms and renewed to counteract its retreat tendencies? Michael Zürn (…) discusses these dynamics based on the findings of "The Democratic Regression", the recently published book by Armin Schäfer and Michael Zürn (Die demokratische Regression, Suhrkamp Verlag, 2021).

Growing economic inequality in the course of globalization and processes of cultural and social liberalization dominate current debates as explanations for the rise of national-authoritarian parties and the worldwide crisis of democracy. But these explanations are surprisingly apolitical. The fact that authoritarian populist parties are gaining strength in many places is rather the consequence of a double alienation, argue Schäfer and Zürn – an alienation of political processes from their democratic ideal and of the population from democratic institutions.