The Liberal Oligarch: Understanding the Persistence of Liberal Democracy in the Czech Republic under Prime Minister Babiš
Amidst democratic backsliding throughout the Visegrád region, the Czech Republic stands out in an outlier. While Prime Minister Babiš was assumed to usher competitive authoritarianism into the Czech Republic, as evident by his party’s loss in the 2021 Parliamentary Election which disposed him from the office, this did not occur. I investigate why Babiš did not attack the institutions of Czech’s liberal democracy through a comparative perspective. I find that liberal democracy remained because in contrast to Hungary’s Orbán and the Polish ruling party, Babiš never posed a threat to liberal democracy, and instead was simply a corrupt oligarch who ultimately respected democracy. This study provides a basis for assessing threats to liberal democracy, in which a politician’s commitment to and respect for liberal democracy, as well as their desires to concentrate power, is fundamental in determining the risk they pose to the system.
How to Cite:
Hartnett, B., 2022. The Liberal Oligarch: Understanding the Persistence of Liberal Democracy in the Czech Republic under Prime Minister Babiš. LSE Undergraduate Political Review, 5(1), pp.37–68.
27 Mar 2022.