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06-07 October 2016: Workshop on Democratic Advances and Authoritarian Persistence in the European Neighborhood

On October 6th and 7th 2016, Gergana Noutcheva and Assem Dandashly, Assistant Professors in International Relations and European Foreign Policy at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, will be hosting an International workshop on Democratic Advances and Authoritarian Persistence in the European Neighbourhood at Maastricht University’s Brussels Campus.

The workshop aims  at  investigating  why  some  countries  in  the  EU’s  eastern  and southern  neighbourhood  have  liberalised  whereas  others  have  resisted  change  or  even strengthened  their  authoritarian  rule.  While  the  authoritarianism  and  democratisation literatures  have  investigated,  mainly  from  a  domestic  and  institutionalist  perspective, authoritarian survival and collapse as well as democratic breakthrough and consolidation, the EU-focused  scholarship  has  predominantly  focused  on  the  failure  of  the  European Neighbourhood  Policy  to  initiate  positive  change  in  Eastern  Europe  and  MENA. 

Not  only have  these  different  strands  engaged  little  with  each  other,  but  they  have  also  frequently under-credited the societal dimension of ‘democratisations  from below’. This workshop aims to bridge these weakly connected strands of research and fill in the gaps in our knowledge of the  reasons  for  authoritarian  persistence  and  democratic  advances  in  the  European neighbourhood.

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