The Impacts of Executive Responses on Democracy During the Coronavirus Crisis in Croatia, Slovenia and Austria

Keywords: coronavirus crisis, democracy, executive-legislative relations, authoritarian style of governance, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia


In Croatia, Slovenia and Austria, the coronavirus crisis raised pre-existing deficiencies in the democratic orders to the surface, i.e., issues in functioning according to democratic principles in the circumstances of a public health crisis. In Austria, the strained executive-legislative relations were already visible in April 2020, when the opposition parties refused to support the second wave of crisis legislation without the appraisal process that would justify its urgency. In Croatia and Slovenia, the governments decided not to declare a state of emergency, arguably in order to avoid cooperation with the opposition and other state institutions in drafting and passing crisis legislation. Finally, in Slovenia, the government used the crisis as a pretext to install its people into leading positions in several key state and public institutions. 

Author Biography

Hrvoje Butković, Institute for Development and International Relations, Zagreb, Croatia

Hrvoje Butković works as a Senior Research Associate at the Department for European Integration of the Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO), Zagreb. He defended his PhD in 2010 at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Zagreb. His primary research interests include democracy at the national and supranational level, Europeanization and industrial relations in Europe. In the areas of EU enlargement and industrial relations, he participated in the implementation of numerous EC funded projects. During his professional career he participated in numerous international scientific conferences, published his research and organized various conferences, seminars, trainings and other public events.

Research Articles