Ivan Krastev

Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Science, Vienna, and a New York Times contributing writer. Together with Stephen Holmes, author of The Light that Failed: How the West Won the Cold War and Lost the Peace (Allen Lane, 2019).


How should the West react to Russia’s unrestrained pursuit of national interest? A policy of engagement defined as a focus on national interest, and a radical turn from value-based foreign policy to nineteenth century Realpolitik, is not a workable option for relations between Russia and the West, argues Ivan Krastev.

Unlike the extremist parties of the 1930s, new populist movements worldwide do not aim to abolish democracy: quite the opposite, they thrive on democratic support. What we are witnessing today, writes Ivan Krastev, is a conflict between elites that are becoming increasingly suspicious of democracy and angry publics that are becoming increasingly illiberal.

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