International Workshop: Rising Democracies, Interrupted

International Workshop: Rising Democracies, Interrupted

Mon, 01 Jun 2020 - Wed, 03 Jun 2020


View Call for Proposals for this Event

Organized by: IPSA RC34 Quality of Democracy


Starting with the “Third Wave” of democratization, the spread of democracy and human rights over the last three decades has dramatically changed the international landscape. Since 1989, the number of countries considered an electoral democracy has almost doubled. Democratic transitions in places as diverse as Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia have captured the world’s attention.

“Rising democracies” have stood out for their shift from authoritarian governments to more open and representative systems and for their impressive progress in delivering better standards of living for their citizens. The concept of “rising democracies” included the democratic ones among the “rising powers”, like India, Brazil, South Africa, Turkey and Indonesia, as well as young democracies from Eastern Europe and Latin America, such as Poland, Hungary, Chile and Argentina. Their embrace of globalization and democratic norms not only affected their own trajectories, but also gave rise to the hope that these young democracies would use their growing prominence to defend democratic values abroad, potentially revitalizing international democracy promotion.

In the past few years, however, most of these countries have passed through economic and political crises. Widespread demonstrations against increasing socio-economic hardships and inequalities have put pressure on democracy in Chile, France, Iraq, Lebanon, South Africa, and others. Countries across the globe have seen the rise of populist forces and an increasing political and societal polarization. In some cases, the rise of populists to power has resulted in democratic decline and erosion. Hence, optimistic expectations regarding the diffusion of democracy, and the participation of rising democracies in this process, have for the moment been frustrated.

With a focus on the fate and role of “rising democracies”, this workshop will study the current crisis of democracy, looking in particular at:

Crisis diagnosis
What are the symptoms regarding the quality of democracy? Which dimensions of democracy are particularly affected? Is there a decoupling of democracy and liberalism? Do we observe democratic backsliding, erosion, or even breakdown in countries formerly considered to be rising democracies?

Why did the pushback against democracy happen? Are there common causes for the fate of rising democracies, or is it that case-specific developments were crucial for the respective countries?

What are the implications for the contribution of the former rising democracies to democracy promotion and the defense of democracy?

Due to the current global pandemic, the workshop will be held online. Please register to attend. Registered participants will receive log-in information via e-mail.


For any inquiries, please contact

Brigitte Weiffen:

Dirk Kotzé:


This workshop will be conducted online. Please register to attend. Registered participants will receive log-in instructions via e-mail!

The schedule is in São Paulo local time. Please convert to your local time to make sure you don’t miss anything!

Brigitte Weiffen
(DAAD Visiting Professor at the University of São Paulo and Chair of IPSA RC34)


Monday, 1 June 2020

Opening Roundtable: The quality of democracy in times of Covid-19

Merike Blofield (GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies)
Social policy responses of Latin American governments to Covid-19

Karabekir Akkoyunlu (University of São Paulo)
Turkey: Authoritarianism in the time of Corona

Wolfgang Merkel (Berlin Social Science Center)
Who governs in deep crises? The case of Germany in comparative perspective

Chair: Brigitte Weiffen (University of São Paulo)

11:00-11:15 - Break


Panel 1: Factors undermining democracy
Ben Duke (Keele University)
Flash in the Pan: Analysis of Development Trajectories in Failing European Democracies - An EU Perspective

Marketa Jerabek (University of São Paulo/King’s College)
Is trade globalization to blame for democratic backsliding in new democracies? Are different qualities of democracy equally affected by trade globalization?

Chair: Dirk Kotzé (University of South Africa)

Tuesday, 2 June 2020


Panel 2: Explaining the rise of right-wing populism in Brazil and beyond

Alberto do Amaral Jr./Mariana Boer Martins (University of São Paulo)
Corruption, populism and the crisis of the rule of law in Brazil

Cecilia Pe Lero (University of São Paulo)
Voting for Violence: The New Middle Class and Authoritarian Populist Presidents in the Philippines and Brazil

Joana Macedo (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)
Democracy Among Young People

Chair: to be confirmed

10:30-11:00 - Break


Panel 3: Assessing the quality of democracy in Latin America

Lorena Barberia (University of São Paulo)/Kelly Senters Piazza (United States Air Force Academy)
Two Gradual Steps Forward and One Devious Leap Back: An Assessment of Democratization in Latin America

Lucas Cunha (Federal University of Minas Gerais)/Aline Burni (German Development Institute)
What happens after the Pink Tide? Democratic dilemmas and the quality of democracy in Brazil and Chile

Chair: to be confirmed

Wednesday, 3 June 2020


Panel 4: Recent trajectories of democratization and autocratization in Asia and Africa

Saskia Schäfer (Humboldt University Berlin)
Autocratization in Indonesia in comparative perspective

Saumya Tewari (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai)
Psychology of the 21st Century Nationalist: Are Political Narratives Invoking Hobbes’ State of Nature in Modern Democracies?

Tahchi Belgacem (University of Ferhat Abbas)/Boudjemaa Djaballah (University Ziane Achour)
Algeria and the second democratic revolution: Can democracy be betrayed again?

Solomon Gofie (Addis Ababa University) (to be confirmed)
Decades of democratization rhetoric, political reform and the legacy of antagonistic state-society relations: The Case of Ethiopia

Chair: Dirk Kotzé (University of South Africa)

11:00-11:15 - Break

Panel 5: Rising democracies as democracy promoters

Merve Calimli-Akgun (Istanbul Bilgi University)
Pattern of Democracy Promotion in Brazil and Turkey: Motives and Limits

Brigitte Weiffen (University of São Paulo)
Regional organizations and the promotion and protection of democracy in Latin America

Chair: Karabekir Akkoyunlu (University of São Paulo)