ECPR General Conference
University of Iceland, Reykjavík
25 - 27 August 2011




What is Left from Democracy? Electoralism and Populism in Romania

Presenter
Miroiu Mihaela
National University of Political Studies and Public Administration
Authors
Miroiu Mihaela
National University of Political Studies and Public Administration

Abstract
What is Left from Democracy? Electoralism and Populism in Romania Mihaela Miroiu Abstract What I shall present in my paper is the relation between the frequency of the electoral cycles as well as the redistribution policies, and the increase of populism. The density of the electoral cycles and the populist redistribution policies as bribes for the poor, but numerous electorates, has turned the electoral component of democracy in an end in itself. Politicians are focused on wining the elections, not in strategic government and even less in consolidating democracy, even just a liberal one as it became before EU accession. The most popular enemy in the electoral campaign is the corruption and because its form is “state capture”, the fight against it is just populist and endless as campaign and tends to be authoritarian as government. With such threats we can see Romania and other new EU member states apparently as suicidal democracies due to the weak institutionalization of the democratic mechanisms. In the times of "democratic recession”, EU protectorate is keeping its member states within a safety net which is blocking the suicidal attitudes and tolerates its new (sometimes even old) members rather as flawed democracies.
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"Politics determines the process of "who gets what, when, and how"" - Harold Lasswell


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