An “illiberal trend” is haunting Europe and the United States. It is a virus that is eating away at our democracies, which seem ever less to resemble “Liberal Democracy.” Freedom of the press and freedom of religion are being squeezed across Europe; independent institutions are contested by political parties that enjoy significant public support. The fundamental respect for human rights is no longer the guiding principle of the democracies that emerged from the Second World War.
In this dossier, Jonathan Laurence reconstructs the causes of the populist and nativist explosion in Europe, and suggests some remedies. Interviewed by ResetDoc, David Runciman, a political scientist at the University of Cambridge, identifies the roots of the current crisis — the narrowing of the demographic, cultural and economic gap between voters and elected representatives. Finally, the historian Andrea Graziosi focuses on the demographic crisis as a determining feature of the crisis of European democracies.