Stephen Holmes

Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law at New York University. Together with Ivan Krastev, author of The Light that Failed: How the West Won the Cold War and Lost the Peace (Penguin, forthcoming 2019).


Cover for: Explaining eastern Europe

Explaining eastern Europe

Imitation and its discontents

For countries emerging from communism, the post-1989 imperative to ‘be like the West’ has generated discontent and even a ‘return of the repressed’, as the region feels old nationalist stirrings and new demographic pressures. The origins of illiberalism in central and eastern Europe are emotional and pre-ideological, rooted in rebellion at the humiliations that accompany a project requiring acknowledgment of a foreign culture as superior to one’s own.

Cover for: Goodbye future?

Structural problems in conventional democracies are alienating citizens worldwide, writes Stephen Holmes. Political marketing, cross-party compromise and elite withdrawal threaten to rob democracy of its original role as instrument of justice.

Cover for: The sense of an ending

Blatantly rigged elections are the easiest way for the Putin regime to mimic the authoritarian power it does not possess. December’s protests destroyed Putin’s reputation of being in control; even genuinely competitive elections would be unable to restore his legitimacy.

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