Resistance to Democratic Regressions: Motivational, Epistemic, and Normative Issues

January 26, 2023
Thursday, January 26, 2023, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

POLEMO Research Group and Nationalism Studies Research Group cordially invite you to the seminar. 

This seminar is planned as a hybrid event.  Registration is required for non-CEU members.  

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ABSTRACT|Recent times have seen a number of countries elect parties and leaders that systematically undermine democracy and the rule of law. My concern in this paper is with the relatively little-studied topic of resistance to democratic regressions. Chief amongst the things I will discuss in this paper is the rather central ethical issue of whether resisters may themselves, in their attempts to prevent the further subversion of democracy, transgress democratic norms. But the argument advanced is not merely about the ethics of resistance. It begins, perhaps unconventionally, by addressing the affective dimension of resistance to democratic regressions, looking in particular at the powerful feelings of anger and despair that pro-democratic citizens living under a “regressive” government are likely to experience. As I will argue, these feelings have not only motivational but also epistemic potential that must be understood in order to understand how resisters can respond to the ethical challenges facing them.


BIO| Fabio Wolkenstein is an Assistant Professor of Transformations of Democracy at the Department of Political Science, University of Vienna. He received his PhD (2016) from London School of Economics and Political Science with a dissertation entitled "Deliberative Democracy within Parties". From 2017 to 2021, he was an Associate Professor of Political Science at Aarhus University. He was previously employed in Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich and Amsterdam.  He is the author of two books, Rethinking Party Reform (2019) and The Dark Side of Christian Democracy. The History of an Authoritarian Temptation (2022). His research interests are Democratic theory (especially political parties and political representation) and political ideologies (especially Christian Democracy and Social Democracy).

Zoom Link:…

Meeting ID: 942 5206 2740

Passcode: 451148