1. bookVolume 15 (2019): Issue 3 (December 2019)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1801-3422
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Authoritarian Liberalism in Contemporary Europe: methodological approaches and conceptual models

Published Online: 01 Feb 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 15 (2019) - Issue 3 (December 2019)
Page range: 443 - 458
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1801-3422
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The author conducts a comparative analysis of authoritarian liberalism’s concepts in contemporary political theory. The paper deals with the main directions of interpretation of authoritarian liberalism in the framework of methodological approaches and conceptual models of neoliberalism, ordoliberalism, political liberalism, J.-W. Mueller’s ‘restrained democracy’, J. Habermas’ ‘legitimation crisis’, C. Crouch’s ‘post-democracy’, C. Macpherson’s ‘participatory democracy’, M. Wilkinson’s ‘dedemocratisation and delegalisation’, W. Streeck’s ‘democratic capitalism crisis’ and G. Majone’s ‘crypto-federalism’. The basic analytical concept is the idea of authoritarian economic liberalism, first proposed by H. Heller and K. Polanyi. This paper will sub-stantiate that in crisis and transformational periods the actualisation of authoritarian liberalism corresponds to the fundamental tension between market capitalism and representative democracy. The author conceptualises authoritarian liberalism as the practice of dedemocratisation and restrained democracy, which results in the regionalisation of radical protest against the supranational regime of political integration in Europe. Latent political authoritarianism strengthens economic liberalism, which, in turn, reinforces the further EU’s ‘liberal authoritarian transformation’. Authoritarian liberalism restricts traditional forms of representative democracy, contributing to the reanimation of populism and political radicalism. The authoritarian restriction of representative democracy can lead not only to the strengthening of market capitalism, but also to the revival of reactionary forms of ‘new nationalism’ and illiberalism. Today, the EU’s regime is transformed from a nominally rule-based structure supported by market discipline into a ‘discretionary order’ reinforced by bureaucratic power. The EU’s transnational solidarity can become a democratically legitimate tool for a de-escalation of tensions between market capitalism and representative democracy.

Keywords

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