Populist Backlash, Democratic Backsliding, and the Crisis of the Rule of Law in European Union

The project aims to inform strategies to increase democratic resilience by studying the mechanisms “exclusionary populists” use to increase their power by undermining the Rule of Law in the areas of law, the economy, and the media. The project also seeks to identify the “coping strategies” societal actors use when faced with exclusionary populism. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach spanning political economy, legal-, management-, and media studies, we compare Austria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, and Turkey, all of which have experienced varying degrees of populist success. This project will be organised into four WPs, focussing on legal changes (WP1), business and economics (WP2), media and communications (WP3), and impact (WP4). Besides high-impact publications, the findings of the project will inform concrete solutions for challenges to democratic governance. We collaborate with the Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy, which will create five International Policy Fellowships for key stakeholders from the countries studied.


  • Loughborough University London (coordinator)
  • University of Cambridge
  • Goethe University Frankfurt
  • University of Vienna
  • Polish Academy of Sciences