BLACKINGTON, COURTNEY 4Name: Courtney Blackington
Title of Project: 
Hooligans or Saboteurs? Democratic Backsliding in Eastern Europe
Advisor: Paula Pickering
Honors Department: Government

Since joining the EU and implementing stringent political and economic reforms, several politicians in Eastern European countries have stalled and backtracked these democratic reforms. It is unclear whether this democratic backsliding involves leaders intentionally weakening governmental institutions or merely creating barriers to democratic deepening in order to benefit themselves. My research will ideally determine whether these leaders actively work to undermine democratic reforms made to gain EU membership, or merely exploit the political system for their own benefit, so that I can then propose several policy options for international and domestic organizations that could best combat the specific types of behaviors taken by political elites in these countries.

Hometown: Carmel, Indiana
Hobbies: In my free time, you can find me running, cooking, or planning a trip abroad.
Fun Fact: I have lived in more houses in Botswana than in the United States.


Follow Courtney’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!