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The Ukraine crisis may reinvigorate Eastern European democracies

Maria Popova and Nikolay Marinov consider the potential impact of Russia's unjustified invasion of Ukraine on the broader dynamics of Eastern European democracies. The authors contend that the increased focus of a "war of worldviews" between Russia and Europe, rather than on internal corruption, has the potential to reinvigorate Eastern European democracies.

Eastern Europe has largely pledged support for Ukraine and a strong European response, with pro-Russian voices quieting in favour of pro-EU and pro-NATO positions for geopolitical security reasons. The authors point to the increasing research that indicates that a high degree of emphasis on internal corruption can lower trust in democratic institutions, weaken parties, and embolden populists. Moreover, citizens in these countries are increasingly aware of Russian interference in their domestic politics. These factors may translate into a stronger commitment to European democratic values and parties which campaign on strengthening core European values and interests.

Read the full piece here in the Washington Post.