The Romanian Journal of Society and Politics Call for Papers Distorted Rule of Law - The Past, Present, and Future of Illiberal Democracies


Some argue that the mutuality of liberalism and democracy is a coincidence, but Western thinkers traditionally maintain that their regimes were liberal even before democracy was embraced. However, in some polities, liberal values and practices are being gradually removed from the equation, prompting observers to single out the emergence of a new form of political regime. The notion of  “illiberal democracy” has only gained prominence since journalist Fareed Zakaria published his paper “The Rise of Illiberal Democracy”, in 1997. An erosion of liberal values saw an increasing number of democracies morph into what some people call pseudo-democracies or even autocracies. If anything, this phenomenon shows that modern democracies, as a principle, are able to transform over time, reinventing themselves, especially in countries with little to no democratic experience that adopt the doctrine. The ways in which liberalism is embraced, one could argue, suggest that it is more multifaceted than what is conventionally portrayed. As such, could illiberal democracies represent a response to modern liberal democracies’ inability to address new political disputes?

In this issue of The Romanian Journal of Society and Politics, we welcome studies that try to explore this topic by employing diverse research methodologies, from empirical analysis drawing on case studies or comparative studies, to analytical and conceptual exploration.

Scholars are invited to include in their submissions (but are not limited by) questions and topics such as:

·       How much democracy is left in an illiberal democracy?

·       To what extent do authoritarian pasts influence illiberal democracies in the present?

·       Electoral systems and the rise of populism

·       How do illiberal regimes impact minorities or marginalized communities as part of mounting social and political polarization?

·       Identity politics as a reactionary response to women’s and minority rights movements

·       The limits of liberal democracy and critical perspectives

·       Sustainability and environmentalism

·       The illiberal model  and its spread as determined by past and present models

·       The growth of illiberal democracies and their influence on international relations

·       Illiberal democracies and civil-military relations

·       Freedom of expression and the media in illiberal democracies

·       Judiciary (in)dependence in illiberal democracies

The submission guidelines can be found in the Instructions for Authors section.      All contributions should be sent by email to