European Studies Conference, 29-30 June 2021

29-30 June 2021.

June 2021 –  East Central European democracies during the COVID-19 pandemic: a double-dip decline? Online panel (Zoom) organised within a framework of III Congress of European Studies, University of Wroclaw by Aleksandra Maatsch – 29.06.2021, 16:30-18:00

Panel convenor: Prof. Dr. Aleksandra Maatsch (Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies, University of Wroclaw)

Without doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic generated an unprecedented global crisis that not only affected our health, but also many other aspects of our lives. In March 2021 it is exactly one year since the WHO recognized the coronavirus as a pandemic. While the crisis is not over yet, it is time to take stock of its impact.

This panel focuses on the impact of the pandemic on ECE democracies. Whereas in economy we have a phenomenon of a double-dip recession, in ECE states we seem to witness a double-dip decline of democratic standards. In particular, in some ECE states the pandemic seems to have catalysed the prior process of democratic decline. Against that background we pose the following questions:

  • How prominent is the trend towards de-democratization in ECE in general?
  • Which factors explain the ‘double-dip’ decline of democracy in ECE states?
  • Which theoretical approaches can be helpful is explaining the observed changes? In particular, is the democratic consolidation approach still helpful?

The papers presented in this panel  aim at contributing to the discussion concerning democracy in unusual circumstances. We are interested in case-studies or comparative papers (comparisons across country-cases or comparisons of crises – financial crisis versus the COVID-19 pandemic).

Panelists and paper-givers:

Dr. Barbara Grabowska-Moroz (Democracy Institute at the Central European University and a member in the EU-project ‘Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law’ RECONNECT)

Prof. Dr. Stefan Garsztecki (Chair for Central and Eastern European Studies, TU Chemnitz)

Prof. Gabriella Ilonszki (Professor of Political Science, Corvinus University Budapest)

Dr. Anghel, Veronica (European University Institute) & Erik Jones ( SAIS – Johns Hopkins)

Stefan Garsztecki (Institute for European Studies and History, Technical University Chemnitz)