Conclusion: human dignity and the future of European democracy

Gábor Halmai, Panos Kapotas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In the last decades Europe has been the epicentre of converging crises that have had a significant impact on the state of human dignity and on its relationship with liberal democracy. The combined effects of these crises, although decidedly asymmetrical, have been felt across the Continent and they have tested the resilience of all European societies, as well as their faith in (liberal) democracy and in (European) solidarity. The emergence of an 'illiberal or anti-liberal democracy' narrative as a supposed alternative anti-dignity identity may be nothing more than a neo-nationalist fiction, but it has nonetheless challenged the fundamental precepts of constitutional democracy and democratic constitutionalism. The ongoing pandemic, which also served as a pretext for autocrats to further attack dignity and dismantle democracy, with its unequal economic and social impact, may turn out to be an existential juncture for the post-World War II European project. Recognising equal dignity as the minimum normative core of European democracy can help us build a bridge to a shared European future.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Dignity and Democracy in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationSynergies, Tensions and Crises
EditorsDaniel Bedford, Catherine Dupré, Gábor Halmai, Panos Kapotas
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781789902846
ISBN (Print)9781789902839
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2022


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