ABSTRACT / ’Illiberal democracy’ is a term coined for regimes that are different from both liberal democracies and the versions of autocracy we are familiar with. On one hand it is very successful in crowding out conceptual alternatives. On the other hand it carries a certain discomfort even for those who use it. This is an interesting puzzle, the examination of which points to an even deeper puzzle. ‘Illiberal democracy’ is an offshoot of the mainstream conception of liberal democracy. Thus, in order to stand up to the challenges posed by ‘illiberal democracy’, our mainstream conception of liberal democracy must be revised.
BIO / Leading member of the democratic opposition to the communist regime in the 1970s and ’80s. Co-founder of the Alliance of Free Democrats, Hungary’s liberal party of which he was chairman until 1991, when withdrew from politics. At present, professor of political science and of philosophy at the Central European University, Budapest. Main professional interests are in moral and political philosophy and in democratic theory. Teaches courses on the moral foundations of distributive justice, political authority and obligation, and democratic theory. Books in English include Constitutional Democracy, and Politics as a Moral Problem, both published by CEU Press.
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