The liberal order is still a relatively young system by and large. Over millennia before the industrial revolution and the ascendancy of liberal ideas did tribalism of some sort or the other prevail. The legacy of liberal order is undeniably impressive.
Over the past decade, sympathies and support for the authoritarianism have been spreading across Europe. The fourth issue of The Visio Journal features a debate on liberalism versus authoritarianism, which is fought in the realm of ideas, institutions, and public policies.
With the rise of nationalism and hybrid forms of authoritarianism, the rights and freedoms of citizens are under assault in many corners of the globe. Unsurprisingly, among the countries with the most substantial deterioration in freedom in the last year are Angola, Venezuela, and Tajikistan.
The Western Balkan countries already have plans for bold and deep institutional reforms that will not only liberalize and deliver a boost to their economies, but will also, most importantly, significantly improve the level of freedom enjoyed by the people in the region.
The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, was not only the beginning of the reunification of the Germans, it was also one of several events that in the months and years to come would have more than 100 million people, including Estonians, successfully turn their back to communism.
Even though Hong Kong operates under separate laws within the ‘one country, two systems’ model, the invisible hand of mainland China is becoming increasingly visible in the territory. In response, mass protests have been ongoing for four months in Hong Kong.
Recently, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam announced that her government will withdraw the contested bill that would undermine the rule of law by allowing extraditions to mainland China, which sparked three months of protests in the city. However, demonstrations are unlikely to end anytime soon.
Support for the authoritarianism among both political elites and the public across Europe is spreading and growing. The next issue of The Visio Journal shall explore the question of whether liberalism is able to stand its ground against the backdrop of increasingly present authoritarianism in Europe.
In mid-June, hundreds of thousands of Czechs took to the streets of Prague calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in light of both a criminal investigation in the Czech Republic over alleged fraud, and an EU investigation over the abuse of EU funds by his Agrofert conglomerate.