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Neo-authoritarianisms in Europe and the liberal democratic response

Project description

Making liberal democracy more resilient

Democracies are increasingly becoming more vulnerable as ideological opponents gain momentum. But in order to reinforce and stabilise democracy, we must understand the challenges it faces. The EU-funded AUTHLIB project will investigate the varieties of neo-authoritarian, illiberal ideologies in Europe, especially in Poland, Hungary, Czechia, France, Italy, Austria, and the United Kingdom. It will focus on the historical, social and psychological causes, organisational background and political implications. To do this, AUTHLIB will perform laboratory and online survey experiments, review textual data and social media and conduct surveys of experts and citizens to map ideological configurations. The results will give policy makers the information they need to enhance support for liberal democracy.


To protect the future of liberal democracy in Europe, we must first understand its challengers. AUTHLIB is a multidisciplinary project that aims to explore the varieties of neo-authoritarian, illiberal ideologies in Europe, their social, psychological and historical causes, their organisational background and their political implications. The study aims to capture the dynamics of ideological change in the European Union as a whole, but it will particularly focus on Poland, France, Italy, Hungary, Czechia, the United Kingdom and Austria.
We will map ideological configurations by analysing textual data and social media, and by organising surveys of citizens and experts. The mapping of ideological structures will be complemented by a study of emotional triggers and rhetorical strategies pursued by illiberal actors. The contemporary ideological configurations of illiberalism will be embedded within their historical-cultural context, and the study of ideas and preferences will be supplemented by investigation of illiberalism in power, and the co-operation of illiberal political actors. To develop interventions that effectively target these new challenges, AUTHLIB will define the normative limits for actions that democracies may take in their own defence. In order to identify the mechanisms behind the support of illiberalism, and the susceptibility of citizens towards changing their attitudes, we will conduct laboratory and online panel-based survey experiments.
Finally, in order to observe how ideological and emotional stimuli work in co-operative settings, we will set up deliberative fora, involving both ordinary citizens, ideological opponents, and individuals responsible for educating future generations and operating the intricate procedures of liberal democracy.
The research will provide policy-makers with a comprehensive toolbox to improve support for liberal democracy.


Net EU contribution
€ 525 300,00
1051 Budapest

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Közép-Magyarország Budapest Budapest
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 770 687,50

Participants (7)

Partners (1)