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The IUP Journal of International Relations :
Europe: The Risk of Authoritarian Drift and the Paths for a Democratic Restoration
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Several eminent thinkers insist that the economic crisis has created great dangers for democracy and argue that in Europe there are rampant trends which try to transform the established democratic regime into a regime of post-democracy. According to this opinion, Europe deals with a significant shift in power at the expense of traditional institutions of representative democracy and in favor of financial interests, which seem to have gained much more autonomy. Thus, the postwar compromise between “capital and labor” and “democracy and totalitarianism”, which already started to be challenged during the 1970s, has been totally reversed. The only response to the phenomenon of post-democracy is to create proper conditions for democracy to regain its dominant position. Because new forms of economic activity that nobody can control, have increased, there is a need for harnessing markets in the context of democratic legality and regularity. The power of financial market players should be limited, inter alia, to avoid future crises such as the current multidimensional crisis. This will mean that we must strengthen the democratic rights of participation, expression and control at all levels of economic activity. It is the political participation and the enhanced participation of workers and trade unions in economic decisions—either as part of multinational companies or through targeted promotion of certain industries and services—that can offer a different perspective for a more democratic future. In this context, the claim of economic democracy in Europe suggests a fundamental democratization of political and economic governance in combination with the deepening of European integration.

 
 
 

Prominent thinkers, such as Crouch, clearly indicate the great dangers that the economic crisis causes to democracy and argue that rampant transformations have been implemented in the European probationary democratic regimes.1 Similarly, the great thinker Habermas refers to a “post-democratic bureaucracy of the European elite power”, which denotes that “in Europe the member states are governed by markets and ultimately, the latter exert so much influence in the countries that they even form governments ... such as in Greece and Italy”.

 
 
 

International Relations Journal, Democratic Regime , Capital and Labor, Democracy and Totalitarianism .