Entering the 'Post-Shame Era' : The Rise of Illiberal Democracy, Populism and Neo-Authoritarianism in EUrope.

Wodak, Ruth (2022) Entering the 'Post-Shame Era' : The Rise of Illiberal Democracy, Populism and Neo-Authoritarianism in EUrope. In: The Limits of EUrope : Identities, Spaces, Values. Global Discourse Book Series, 3 (1). Bristol University Press, Bristol, pp. 207-228. ISBN 9781529221794

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The term ‘illiberal democracy’, coined by Fareed Zakaria in 1997, has gained much traction, specifically since its use by Hungarian Prime Minster Victor Orbán in 2014. Ever since, Orbán and his governing party Fidesz have been implementing this vision resulting in major cutdowns on free speech, freedom of press, of various NGOs which support human rights, and so forth. Moreover, Fidesz won the 2018 national election with a strong focus on anti-immigration policies. Although Orbán’s restrictive migration policies were widely criticised during the so-called refugee crisis 2015, many EU member states have started to follow the Hungarian policy of closing borders and protecting the EU from asylum-seekers and an alleged invasion by Muslims. Hence, I claim that formerly taboo subjects and expressions in mainstream discourse are being accepted more and more (‘normalisation’). Such normalisation goes hand in hand with a certain ‘shamelessness’: the limits of the sayable are shifting regarding both the frequency of lies and the violating of discourse conventions – as well as regarding repeated attacks on central democratic institutions. Normalising the assessment of migrants as a threat to inner security and a burden on the welfare state and education system must be perceived as an international development – generally instrumentalising a ‘politics of fear’.

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This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an extract/chapter published in The Limits of EUrope. Details of the definitive published version and how to purchase it are available online at: https://bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/the-limits-of-europe-1
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04 Nov 2022 13:55
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08 Nov 2023 00:16