The Recent Protest Movements in Eastern Europe as an Indicator for Multiple Crises?

Tobias Spöri, Felix Jaitner

Abstract

Since the outbreak of the financial and economic crisis in 2008, Eastern European countries have been affected severely by the crisis through intensified austerity measures, higher unemployment rates, and increasing dissatisfaction with democracy. Against this backdrop, the region has experienced several large-scale protest movements in recent years. The paper critically assesses the state of the art on political participation in Eastern Europe. Special attention is paid to the still underplayed effects of the global economic crisis. Subsequently, the question is raised whether the increased number of protests indicates a deeper societal crisis. Thereby, the authors conclude, Eastern Europe serves to a certain extend as a trendsetter for similar developments in other parts of Europe.

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