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European Democracy Is In A State Of Emergency


Who wouldn’t agree these days that things are not going well in Europe? Yet do the challenges and disasters you mention have common roots? I think they do, if at a very abstract level. The common root of the war in Ukraine, the Eurozone crisis and the rise of populism can be seen in the absence of fair and effective institutional mechanisms of political interest intermediation, conflict resolution and crisis management. If those are in place and function well, such institutional mechanisms serve to inculcate in political actors, “elite” and “mass” alike, the ability to anticipate crisis, to search for modes of reconciling conflict and to be attentive to the major risks, uncertainties and dangers involved in current political, economic and military configurations of forces. If they are not in place or do not function well, we observe instead the spread of pious lies, self-righteous insistence on “non-negotiable” positions as well as all the political pathologies that come with the short-sighted and irresponsible pursuit of both interests and passions and the outright refusal to take notice of harsh and complex realities.

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