Democracies evolve. Their evolution is not only key to their survival; it is also a reflection of the changing environment in which they operate. This book contributes to the analysis and understanding of how democratic states have transformed over time by examining a number of challenges and opportunities that they face.

With a focus on ‘Europe 31’, understood as the EU28 plus Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland, the book brings together separate strands of literature which often remain disconnected in political science narratives. Looking at citizen–state relations, the restructuring of politics and institutions of the state, and developments which reach 'beyond and below' the state, it interrogates a variety of issues ranging from the decline of parties or the re-emergence of nationalism as a political force, to liberal challenges to social democracy, terrorist threats, and climate change. The book combines these different dimensions into a comprehensive overview of the state of contemporary democracy, its challenges and opportunities, and its dynamic capacity to adapt. In other words, it deals with the perpetual threats to and transformations of democracy, and the state’s ability to protect and strengthen its democratic attributes.

This text will be of key interest to scholars of European Politics, Comparative Politics, and Democracy Studies.

chapter 1|10 pages

The transformation of democracy

ByYvette Peters, Michaël Tatham

part |2 pages

PART 1 Citizen–state relations

chapter 2|20 pages

A re-emergence of nationalism as a political force in Europe?

ByTerje Knutsen

chapter 3|18 pages

What kind of challenge? Right-wing populism in contemporary Western Europe

ByLise Lund Bjånesøy, Elisabeth Ivarsflaten

chapter 4|21 pages

Party decline?

ByHilmar L. Mjelde, Lars Svåsand

chapter 5|25 pages

Democratic discontent in times of crisis?

ByJonas Linde, Stefan Dahlberg

part |2 pages

PART 2 Restructuring the politics and institutions of the state

chapter 6|21 pages

The struggle between liberalism and social democracy

ByMichael E. Alvarez

chapter 7|23 pages

The sustainability of European welfare states: the significance of changing labour markets

ByJohannes Andresen Oldervoll, Stein Kuhnle

chapter 8|20 pages

Intra-EU migration and the moral sustainability of the welfare state

ByCornelius Cappelen

part |2 pages

PART 3 Governing beyond and below the state

chapter 10|20 pages

Terrorism, counterterrorism, and democracy

ByJan Oskar Engene

chapter 11|22 pages

Climate change mitigation

ByFriederike Talbot

chapter 12|21 pages

Minority rights under majority rule: LGB rights in Europe

ByVegard Vibe

chapter 13|17 pages

Is the European public sphere good for democracy?

ByHakan G. Sicakkan

part |2 pages

PART 4 Conclusions

chapter 15|30 pages

The contemporary state of democracy in a transformed Europe

ByYvette Peters, Michaël Tatham