In argument with James Dawson and Sean Hanley, the author insists that the current state of liberal democracy in Central and Eastern Europe cannot be explained simply by the absence of more value-based democratic politics and the opportunism of liberal elites. In the author’s view, what we see in Central and Eastern Europe is not the crisis of democratization but a genuine crisis of liberal democracy caused by a major economic crisis, publics’ backlash against globalization and some of the core beliefs of liberal cosmopolitanism, and decline of the role of Europe and the European Union in world politics. In this view, the concept of “backsliding” is not helpful in making sense of the current crisis.