Paper presented at the Conference ‘After the Gold Rush: Economic Crisis and Consequences’, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, 27-28 May 2010.
ABSTRACT. The paper argues that the current global capitalist crisis entails an assault on democracy. Since crisis connotes danger and opportunity, the recent crisis appears to be a danger to democracy but an opportunity to its antithetical ideals. At the international level, multilateral institutions have seized the moment to reaffirm the perpetuation of the discursive and structural hegemony of neoliberalism. In East and Southeast Asia, states and regional organisations have revived arguments for the institutional justification of authoritarian liberalism in the region. And in the US and Europe, attempts at restoring nationalism are gaining ground. The global crisis provides the momentum for—but not the sole cause of—the intensification of these counter-democratisation movements and tendencies.