It’s not all about populism: grassroots democracy is thriving across Europe | Richard Youngs

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Protests, citizens’ assemblies, local referendums and mutual aid groups are pushing back against attacks on civil society

The past decade has been a bruising one for the health of European democracy. The dramatic authoritarian turns in Hungary and Poland have attracted most attention, but nearly all European governments have chipped away at civil liberties, judicial independence and civil society.

With Covid accentuating many of the challenges posed by populism, disinformation and a collapse in public trust, the narrative of democracy labouring in deep crisis is now well established. Yet as the threats have mounted, so have efforts to defend and rethink Europe’s democratic practices.

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