The liberal international order (LIO) is experiencing a legitimacy crisis in its Western heartland. What causes this crisis? Complementing the cultural and economic backlash hypotheses, this paper advances an institutionalist explanation for the current crisis of the LIO, which accounts for the growing resistance to the LIO with a political backlash hypothesis. The main argument is that the institutional characteristics of the LIO’s political order, in particular its 'democracy gap,' trigger self-undermining processes by inciting opposition that cannot be politically accommodated and is thus bound to turn into polity contestation.
The New Research on Europe Seminar serves as a weekly forum in which CES Visiting Scholars present their work. Scholars present their work in a form accessible to scholars working in fields other than their own. Papers may be circulated in advance, although this is not required.
The seminar encourages discussions across disciplinary as well as national boundaries. After each presentation, there is ample time for critique and discussion, followed by the CES Friday Lunch. This seminar is open to the public.