In recent years serious concerns emerged over the state of European democracy. Many democracy indices are reporting a year-on-year drift towards less liberal politics in the countries of the European Union. The coronavirus pandemic has intensified these fears.

There is another side of the democratic equation, however. Rebuilding European Democracy: Resistance and Renewal in an Illiberal Age argues that governments, EU institutions, political parties, citizens, and civil society organizations have gradually begun to push back in defense of democracy and have developed responses to Europe’s democratic malaise at multiple levels. Europe’s democracy problems have been grave and far-reaching. Yet, a spirit of democratic resistance has slowly taken shape.

This book argues that the pro-democratic fightback may be belated, but it is real and has assumed significant traction with various types of democratic reform underway, including citizen initiatives, political-party changes, digital activism, and EU-level responses.