Quotes by Ivan Krastev

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What makes me worry today is the alarming decline in the trust in democratic institutions - political parties, Parliaments, political leaders. Less and less people are going to the polls in most advanced democracies. more...

Transparency is not about restoring trust in institutions. Transparency is the politics of managing mistrust. more...

America gave the world the notion of the melting pot - an alchemical cooking device wherein diverse ethnic and religious groups voluntarily mix together, producing a new, American identity. And while critics may argue that the melting pot is a national myth, it has tenaciously informed the America's collective imagination. more...

Democracy has always been in crisis: democracy is all about practicing the art of bearable dissatisfaction. In democratic societies, people often complain about their leaders and their institutions. The gap between the ideal democracy and the existing one cannot be bridged. more...

Russians clearly perceive America's global influence as being in irreversible decline and American society shattered by major political, economic and ideological crises. more...

For the Kremlin, it is more feasible to preserve its great-power status in cooperation with the United States than in confrontation. more...

It is people's willingness to take personal risks and confront the powerful by daring to speak the truth, not the truth itself, that ultimately leads to change. more...

Remember, until the 1970s, the spread of democracy has always been accompanied by the decline of inequality. The more democratic our societies have been, the more equal they have been becoming. Now we have the reverse tendency. The spread of democracy now is very much accompanied by the increase in inequality. more...

The crisis of democracy in the West is not the result of falling in love with another system. In Europe and America people who are disillusioned with democracy do not dream about the Chinese model or any other form of authoritarian rule. They do not dream about government that controls Internet and puts in prison those daring to disagree. more...

A more stable relationship between Poland and Russia based on reconciliation might revive the reunification of Europe. more...

The post-Cold War order in Europe is finished, with Vladimir Putin its executioner. Russia's invasion of Georgia only marked its passing. Russia has emerged as a born-again 19th-century power determined to challenge the intellectual, moral and institutional foundations of the order. more...

For the European Union, Russia is as important politically and economically as China is to the U.S. more...

The United States and Russia probably do not have common aims and dreams, but they have common worries: Both Washington and Moscow are concerned about the rise of China and are threatened by the rise of radical Islam. more...

America is militarily overstretched, politically polarized and financially indebted. more...

Any unveiling is also veiling. No matter how transparent our governments want to be, governments will be selectively transparent. more...

As a rule, governments monitor people. more...

Bulgaria has been deindustrialized by interest groups who extracted state assets like oil states extract the oil in their ground. more...

Living in truth cannot be reduced to having access to full information. more...

Regimes like the one in Russia are stabilized by the fact that they have no ideology. There is really no ideological means to attack them. more...

The E.U. cannot act as guardian of the post-Cold War status quo without risking a collapse of Europe's current institutional infrastructure. more...

True, Putin's Russia does not dream of joining the E.U., but Russia's stability depends on preserving the European nature of its regime. more...

America is a nation of immigrants, but it is also a nation of people who never emigrate. Notably, Americans living outside the United States are not called emigrants, but 'expats.' more...

As China is about adaptation, not transformation, it is unlikely to change the world dramatically should it ever assume the global driver's seat. But this does not mean that China won't exploit that world for its own purposes. more...

Authoritarianism is not pretending anymore to be a real alternative to democracy, but we can see many more authoritarian practices and styles basically being smuggled into democratic governments. more...

Before, revolutions used to have ideological names. They could be communist, they could be liberal, they could be fascist or Islamic. Now, the revolutions are called under the medium which is most used. You have Facebook revolutions, Twitter revolutions. The content doesn't matter anymore - the problem is the media. more...

Germany, because of the fact and the perception of a special relationship with Russia, is the only one who can influence Russian debate. Russians also believe that Germans understand them best because they've been through a big war and know what humiliation means. more...

In 2008, Putin's message was, 'We aren't like a Central Asian republic, we aren't going to build a personalistic regime, we will have institutions.' This is all abolished now. The very idea of a governing party and party career, as you have in China, that didn't work. more...

Democracy is the only game in town. The problem is [when] people start to believe that it is not a game worth playing. more...

[It's] difficult to engage people in politics when they believe that what really matters is where they personally stand. more...

The Church of TED is very optimistic. Bulgarians are some of the most pessimistic in the world. There are the Happy, the Unhappy and the Bulgarians. more...


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