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What's Illiberal Democracy?

What's Illiberal Democracy?

Prime Minister Orban in 2014 said that he wants to build an “illiberal state” and that “a democracy is not necessarily liberal.” Can a democracy be illiberal?

Here is one way to think about it: liberalism, in the political sense, is a philosophy that stresses the protection of individual rights and the rule of law, no matter who is in power. It involves checks and balances for government, and certain safeguards for civil society and the media. (This is different than economic liberalism which espouses free markets, or social liberalism which advocates progressivism.)

Meanwhile democracy, in this context, is just a way of putting people in power and holding them to account. The people freely choose their leaders by majority or plurality vote, and they can freely boot them out if they like.

The thorny bit is this: democracies can elect leaders who can, perfectly legally and democratically, erode the protections of liberalism. Even if elections are regularly held, they lose their primary function of being a tool for accountability.

That’s what’s happening in Hungary today.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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For the first time in twenty years, extreme poverty around the world is growing. How does the developing world recover from a pandemic that has brought even the richest nations to their knees? David Malpass, the President of the World Bank, is tasked with answering that question. He joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to talk about how his organization is trying to keep the developing world from slipping further into poverty in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Joe Biden wants to move into the White House, but the coast isn't clear. He may need some bleach.

Watch more PUPPET REGIME here.

If former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson could give incoming Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas advice, what would it be? "Well, first I would say, 'Ali, I'm glad it's you, not me.'" His conversation with Ian Bremmer was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


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