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The Crisis of Liberal Democracy

Diagnostics and Therapies

Book | 1st edition 2023 | World | George Katrougalos, Bertrand Mathieu

In light of the looming crisis facing liberal democracy, this collection of 22 special national and regional reports, synthesised by a general report, delves into this crisis. The reports first examine the common characteristics and manifestations of this crisis such as corruption, weakness of institutions, loss of the sense of the common good, etc. More specific factors are also highlighted, such as the absence of a democratic tradition and distorted relations with European structures, amongst others. After describing their national particularities, the national special reports reveal that the notion of democracy is polysemic. Democracy sometimes refers to the idea of “good government” or even comes from a very specific concept that is alien to Western Theories, as can be seen in China. Liberal democracies are, in fact, mixed systems. Democracy is, essentially, a mode of legitimising power, while liberalism is a mode of limiting power (separation of powers, fundamental rights, etc.). The confusion between these two requirements and, probably, the reinforcement of liberal logic to the detriment of democratic logic, leads to the development of regimes that become, or claim to be, illiberal without renouncing democratic principles and vice versa. The crisis of liberal democracy is also the result of the crisis that affects the concepts in which democracy has developed (for example, People, State, Nation, Power).

The interplay between economic and social factors must also be highlighted. Globalisation leads to the dispersion of competences away of the state. Transnational economic regulation means that democratic principles no longer apply to national economic and social policies. Thus, the weakening of democracy can be associated with the breaking of the founding social contract of the welfare state and the delegation of important economic decisions to politically irresponsible actors. With the convergence of these two tendencies, a regime emerges where the will of the majority has little or no influence on substantive decisions related to economic governance.
The fact remains that while the concept of liberal democracy presents specificities in these two fields, the political and the institutional, on the one hand, and the economic and the social, on the other, the concept of liberal democracy refers to a Western system in which political, economic and social issues have been combined, democratic principles being corrected, or supplemented, by mechanisms for guaranteeing individual freedoms, and economic liberalism being corrected by social requirements. It is the balance between these requirements, if ever existed, that is today called into question and threatened.

This book raises an important question: can we believe in a regeneration of liberal democracy?

About the editors

Bertrand Mathieu is Professor at the Law School of the Sorbonne-University, Past Senior member of the Council of State (S.E.), Emeritus President of the French Association of Constitutional Law, and member of the Venice Commission (Council of Europe). He is the author of Justice et politique : la déchirure ? (Lextenso 2015) ; Le droit contre la démocratie ? (Lextenso, 2017) (traduction en hongrois, 2018, en espagnol 2021, en russe, 2021, en anglais, Law versus Democracy ? editions EPLO 2023) ; et Droit constitutionnel et institutions politiques (LGDJ 2022).

George Katrougalos is Professor of Public Law at Democritus University of Greece, former Minister of Foreign Affairs (2019), State Minister for European Affairs (2016-2018), Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity (2015-2016) and State Minister for Administrative Reforms of Greece (2015). He is also the Vice President of the International Association of Constitutional Law. He has published extensively in Greek, American, European and Asian legal reviews on comparative constitutional law, social rights, democracy and neoliberalism and he has taught at several universities in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

List of Rapporteurs

With a General Report by Bertrand Mathieu (Sorbonne – Université Paris 1, France) and George Katrougalos (Democritus University, Greece), and Special Reports by Maurice Adams (Tilburg University, the Netherlands), Astrid Cerón-Padilla (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Efren Chavez-Hernandez (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Kenny Chng (Singapore Management University, Singapore), Lóránt Csink (Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Hungary), Maartje De Visser (Singapore Management University, Singapore), Tímea Drinóczi (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil), Marcelo Figueiredo (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil), Maaike Geuens (Tilburg University, the Netherlands), Juan Carlos Henao (Universidad Externado de Colombia), Kevin Fredy Hinterberger (Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour, Austria), Konrad Lachmayer (Sigmund Freud University, Austria), César Landa (Université Pontificale Catholique du Pérou), Andreas Marcou (University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus), Tatiana S. Maslovskaya (Université d’Etat biélorusse, Biélorussie), Luca Mezzetti (University of Bologna, Italy), Mo Jihong (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China), Nikolaos Paraskevopoulos (University of Thessaloniki, Greece), Marie-Odile Peyroux-Sissoko (Université de Franche-Comté, France), Ricardo Ramirez-Calvo (Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina), Jana Reschová (Charles University of Prague, Czech Republic), Mathias Revon (Aix-Marseille Université, France), Alejandra Rodríguez Galán (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), Bianca Selejan-Gutan (‘Lucian Blaga’ University of Sibiu, Romania), Patrick Taillon (Université Laval, Canada), Elena-Simina Tănăsescu (University of Bucharest, Romania), László Trócsányi (Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church of Hungary) and Tomasz Tulejski (University of Lodz, Poland), and a foreword by Prokopios Pavlopoulos (Former President of the Hellenic Republic).

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Hardback
EAN / ISSN 9781839703768
Series name Ius Comparatum
Weight 800 g
Status Available
Number of pages xxvi + 370 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date Nov 3, 2023
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of Contents and Front Matter
    Bertrand Mathieu, George Katrougalos
  • Rapport général / General Report : La crise de la démocratie libérale /The Crisis of Liberal Democracy
    Bertrand Mathieu, George Katrougalos
  • The Many Deaths of Liberal Democracy
  • The Crisis of Liberal Democracy in the European Union
  • La crise de la démocratie libérale dans l’Union européenne : La questionde la « démocratisation » de l’Union européenne
  • La crise de la democratie liberale dans la Communaute des Etats independants :Specifi cites du „ƒoncept de democratie dans les pays de la CEI
  • The Crisis of Liberal Democracy after the Arab Springs: Democracy’s Withering: Ten Years after the Arab Springs
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Belgium
    Maaike Geuens
  • Brésil
  • Canada
  • Chine
  • China
  • Colombie
  • Colombia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Hungary
    Timea Drinoczi
  • Mexico
  • The Netherlands
    Maurice Adams
  • Pérou
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Singapore
    Maartje de Visser
  • Appendix: Questionnaire
    Bertrand Mathieu, George Katrougalos
  • Index
    Bertrand Mathieu, George Katrougalos