In order to protect the future of liberal democracy in Europe, one must first understand the challengers.

The Horizon project AUTHLIB investigates the sources and implications of the normative divergence from the model of liberal democracy in Europe. It is based on the premise is that liberal democracy faces not one ideological challenge but many. Against that background, it carefully and systematically explores the varieties of illiberalism and their appeal. Illiberalism has diverse ways of appealing to elites, citizens, and specific social groups. These include narratives, programs and policies, emotional triggers, institutional innovations, and sophisticated methods of diffusion, each of which needs to be understood and mapped.

As well as shedding light on the diversity of the illiberal challenge, the project’s main aim is to provide a toolkit for policymakers to defend and enhance liberal democracy against its challengers by understanding and explaining the nature of illiberal ideologies, processes, and policies. The toolkit—consisting of case-specific sets of tools—will consist of theoretically, normatively, and empirically grounded ways of responding to the specifics of illiberal claims against liberal democracy.

To achieve these goals, AUTHLIB will address two overarching objectives:

  • mapping the varieties of illiberalism and citizen responses to them
  • designing and testing interventions to counter the spread of authoritarianism

The project aims to capture the phenomenon and dynamics of the illiberal challenge in the European Union as a whole, with an in-depth focus on the project countries Austria, Czechia, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom.

Within the AUTHLIB consortium, we are responsible for the translation of academic research outputs into policy products and their dissemination to the wider public and in targeted ways to relevant policy stakeholders.

As a Horizon project, AUTHLIB is funded by the European Commission and spans the period from October 2022 to September 2025. The project consortium is coordinated by the Central European University and it consists of six highly renowned universities: the Charles University in Prague, Sciences Po in Paris, the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence, the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw, the University of Oxford, and the University of Vienna.

AUTHLIB is funded by the European Union and the UK Research and Innovation. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or UK Research and Innovation. Neither the European Union nor the UK Research and Innovation can be held responsible for them.

The Official AUTHLIB Page

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