Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Jan Zielonka

The counter-revolution in Europe

Several months after the fall of the Berlin Wall Ralf Dahrendorf wrote a book fashioned on Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France called Reflections on the Revolution in Europe. The intention was to explain the extraordinary events taking place in Europe around 1989.Today we are witnessing an equally turbulent period in Europe, however heading in the opposite direction.

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Fragile democracy, volatile politics and the quest for a free media

A free media system independent of political interference is vital for democracy, and yet politicians in different parts of the world try to control information flows. Silvio Berlusconi has been a symbol of these practices for many years, but recently the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, has been in the spotlight. The latter case shows that young and emerging democracies are particularly vulnerable to media capture by political and corporate interests because of their fragile institutions, polarised civil society and transnational economic pressures.

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