Jan Zielonka's Counter-Revolution: Liberal Europe in Retreat (Oxford University Press, 2018) is a furious, worried pamphlet on the challenges that European democracies are currently facing, on the apparent rise of illiberalism. This article critically reviews the book and seeks to offer a somewhat different and perhaps more optimistic picture of the current predicaments of European politics. The main point of reference in this respect is Finland, a country whose political institutions have managed, by and large, to uphold a sense of coherence in society. A commitment to participatory, equality-based, and freedom-generating institutions can indeed be seen as a primary means to counter the decline of liberalism.
Henri Vogt is Professor of International Politics at the University of Turku, Finland. He holds a D.Phil. in Politics from the University of Oxford and has published widely on various aspects of current European politics and its democratic predicament. Over the past 15 years, 10 doctoral and well over 100 master's students have finished their theses under his supervision. E-mail: email@example.com