Geschwister-Scholl-Institut für Politikwissenschaft (GSI)




ERC research presented at 2022 Civil Society and Democratic Backsliding Conference


Milka Ivanovska Hadjievska (Lund University) presented recent work from the ERC Project “The Shrinking Space for Civil Society in Europe” (CIVILSPACE) at the 2022 Civil Society and Democratic Backsliding Conference held in Istanbul, Turkey. The paper “How Government Parties Constrain Civil Society in Western Europe: Democratic Backsliding or Business as Usual?”, co-authored with Nicole Bolleyer and Leonhard Grevesmühl (both LMU Munich), investigates how pervasive trends of government curtailing civic spaces are once we cast our view beyond countries governed by parties with illiberal ideologies. Nicole, Milka and Leonhard explore whether restrictions are placed on groups fighting the government’s agenda in three European democracies that have not been governed by right-wing populist parties – Germany, France and the UK. Their work offers a more nuanced determination of whether government parties initiating civil society constraints indicates a deterioration of democratic principles or whether such measures qualify as normal attempts by elected governments to ‘control’ and ‘manage’ civil society instead.