Chapter 2: From boom to backlash? The European Court of Human Rights and the transformation of Europe
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This chapter analyses the development of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or Court) over the past three decades, from its boom during the 1990s and early 2000s to the current situation, where the Court has faced both problems with compliance and occasional political critique. The chapter analyses how structural social and political change in Europe have affected the evolution of the ECtHR. More specifically, the chapter explores how the broader structural transformation of Europe has structured and ultimately influenced the Court and its transformation. The chapter argues that two distinct social-political configurations have greatly marked the Court over the past 30 years. First, the post-Cold War transformation of Europe in which the Court, and the Council of Europe (CoE) more broadly, came to play key roles as the frontier of European integration, and secondly a period marked by the erosion of the post-Cold War consensus.

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