The project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development, Cooperative Agreement number AID-OAA-A-17-00032 (CFDA no 98.001).
RESOLVE aims to offer a secure space for monitoring illiberal threats in 8 countries: Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey, Armenia, Hungary, Poland and Romania.
Democracy is currently going through serious trials, as shown by the latest Global State of Democracy report. Recent international rankings bring to light the multiple vulnerabilities that democracies in the post-communist area of Europe currently face. The Democracy Index (2019) attaches to Eastern European countries the unflattering labels of ‘flawed democracies’ or ‘hybrid regimes’, after assessing their performance in five key areas: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties. Similarly, the Freedom in the World 2020 report highlights the democratic decline witnessed by countries from Europe and Eurasia. In this assessment, Moldova, Ukraine, Hungary, and Georgia are placed in the category of ‘partly-free’ countries, while Turkey has a ‘non-free’ label attached, due to their specific derailments from democratic politics.
Our project addresses these worrisome developments by seeking to identify and document the instances of illiberal practices and create awareness around the actions that could further threaten democracy in the region. We start from the basic understanding that illiberalism has both action, manifest components and discursive facets that may fuel and enhance practical measures that erode democracy. Moreover, we pay attention, on the one hand, to institutional and procedural aspects of democracy, and, on the other hand, follow the dynamics at the level of values that nourish a democratic environment and/or are a byproduct of democratic procedures. Consequently, we include, in the range of areas to be scrutinized, developments regarding elections, observance of human rights and of civil liberties, discrimination and exclusionary practices and citizen protests. After the virtual situation room starts functioning, we expect our operationalization of illiberal practices to be transformed and gain more facets through interaction among users. This dynamic understanding of illiberalism is, in fact, one defining feature of RESOLVE.
RESOLVE aims to offer a secure space for monitoring illiberal threats in the (extended) Black Sea region. Its core concept is the creation of a virtual situation room.
The structure of the project reflects two major priorities:
1. creating a relevant network of stakeholders working on illiberal practices. The core team at the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) is in charge of creating the network of local experts in each country, whom, in turn, are responsible for creating/strengthening their own networks nationwide. Our core concept is then the creation of a network of networks, ensuring the widest possible coverage both in terms of issues and geographically.
2. ensuring real time circulation of information and responses – in order to effectively monitor illiberal movements.