While socioeconomic crisis — like in Germany after World War I and in Russia after the Cold War — is a necessary precondition for democratic erosion resulting in a breakdown of democracy, it is not a sufficient condition. We identify, in the cases of Weimar Germany and post-Soviet Russia, a post-imperial syndrome that includes nationalist irredentism and an ambition to return to the status quo ante of a “great power” as a main reason why democratization faces specific and enormous challenges for former “great powers.” A slide back to authoritarianism in post-imperial democracies takes a high toll. It is facilitated by international political conflicts, including annexation and wars, with new neighbouring states that harbor territories perceived as external national homelands like the Sudetenland or Crimea.
How post-imperial democracies die: A comparison of Weimar Germany and post-Soviet Russia
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Steffen Kailitz, Andreas Umland; How post-imperial democracies die: A comparison of Weimar Germany and post-Soviet Russia. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 1 June 2019; 52 (2): 105–115. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.postcomstud.2019.05.003
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