Podcast: 'Illiberal Democracy? Poland in a Comparative Perspective'

At the fourth annual Leszek Kolakowski Lecture, Wolfgang Merkel of WZB Berlin Social Science Centre discusses the concept of defective democracies, with a focus on the case of Poland in European comparison. 

In his talk titled "Illiberalism and Populism in East and West: Poland in Comparative Perspective," Professor Merkel looks at the emergence of illiberal governance and the rise of right-wing populist parties both in Poland and in the broader context of Western Europe more generally. He argues that the common trend towards illiberalism and populism in both East and West Europe can be partly attributed to the presence of two main cleavages running through European society. These cleavages, which neither completely overlap nor clearly cross cut, consist of the left-right distributional divergence and the cultural divide between communitarianism and cosmopolitanism. 

Speakers: Wolfgang Merkel , Timothy Garton Ash