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The IUP Journal of International Relations :
On Democratic Disconnection.
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The results of a recent study on the popularity of Western democracy are rather scary. Most respondents have little or no confidence in politics; they distrust the media, justice, and institutions altogether. The most reasonable interpretation of the above results is that there exists a large number of young Europeans who apparently have lost their faith in the political system that surrounds them, in the sense that they no longer hope that it will give them the right and the opportunity to freely unfold their personality. In particular, the new generation wakes up every day with the feeling that democracy has nothing to offer but unsubstantiated hopes. At the same time, there is a growing distrust towards state structures in the sense that a majority of young Europeans feel betrayed by other generations as well as by the system. The findings of surveys depict a weakening of democracy, which is also defined as a democratic disconnect. This means that people are inclining towards authoritarian alternatives. The long-term stability of Western democracies requires more legitimacy at national level not only to provide space for internal policy, but also to ensure respect for social and economic commitments over time.

 
 
 

After the elections in the Netherlands and France and the defeat of the far-right forces of Geert Wilders and Le Pen respectively, the weakening of the AfD (Germany Alternative) populists in Germany and the current retreat of BREXIT conservative forces in Great Britain, there could gain the optimism that the far-right populism is beginning to be intercepted, that it is losing the magic it had before.1 It is obvious that the tendency to overthrow the extreme right is reinforced by the paradoxical presence of Donald Trump, who shows to the citizens—quite bluntly—with his policies and stance towards international issues, how devastating an electoral preference can become guided merely by protest and without any rationality. However, it should not be overlooked that the established democratic parties are often inclined towards the populist agenda to cope with the challenges posed. In other words, where populist parties have recently lost public acceptance and support, this does not stem from the stoic persistence and the steady orientation of the dominant political forces, nor from the change of attitude of the social body, but rather from drastic political changes and ideological adjustments of political forces.2

On the other hand, the very destructive behavior and rhetoric of the far-right parties in the parliaments is being valued as one having as a consequence of increasing political costs. However, there is no reason for optimistic valuations. Because there is a subdued trend that is strengthened over time and concerns young people in Western democracies. This is precisely the population group that was once associated with progressive perceptions and social change. It is precisely this group of the new generation that seems to be losing confidence in the democratic institutions, and there is no evidence that this trend is reversible.

 
 
 

International Relations Journal,Necessity of Democratic Polarization, Democratic Response, Record Democratic Disconnection Trends.