From his home base in Bulgaria, Ivan Krastev thinks about democracy -- and how to reframe it.
Political scientist Ivan Krastev is watching the Euro crisis closely, fascinated by what it reveals about Europe's place in history: What does it mean for the democratic model? Will a fragmented Europe return to nationalist identity politics?
In his latest work, Krastev places recent events on a continuum of five revolutions over the past decades:
+ The socio-cultural revolution of the 1960s.
+ Market revolutions of the 1980s.
+ Central Europe in 1989 (which brought socio-cultural and market revolutions together).
+ The communications revolution.
+ And finally the revolution in neurosciences, which lays bare the irrationality and emotional manipulation in popular politics.
As a result of these five great changes, we've become extremely open and connected, while on the flipside cementing a mistrust of elites. Can democracy flourish when a mistrust of elites is a permanent feature?
Krastev is the chair of the Centre for Liberal Strategies, in Sofia, a research and analysis NGO.
“[It's] difficult to engage people in politics when they believe that what really matters is where they personally stand.”
“Transparency is not about restoring trust in institutions; transparency is politics' management of mistrust.”
“Democracy is the only game in town. The problem is [when] people start to believe that it is not a game worth playing.”