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The Age of Anxiety: The Crisis of Liberal Democracy in a Post-Hegemonic Global Order


The crisis of liberal democracy is closely associated with major global shifts, which have been accelerated by the global financial crisis of 2008, with its dislocating effects in the established democracies of the global centre. Relative stagnation and rising problems of inequality and unemployment, coupled with additional shocks in the form of mass migration and terrorist attacks have generated fertile grounds for the rise of right-wing radical populist sentiments, which have been turned into electoral advantage by charismatic leaders. The crisis of liberal democracy is also a global phenomenon in the sense that liberal democracy has been severely challenged by the rise of strategic models of capitalism, notably its authoritarian version represented by the growing power and influence of the China-Russia coalition. Indeed, the success of the latter has served as a kind of reference for many authoritarian or hybrid regimes in a changing global context, at a time when the key Western powers appear to be losing their previous economic and moral appeal.
Keywords: Global financial crisis, global shifts, emerging powers, liberal democracy, right-wing populism, future of the left