Hungary

  • Cultural War and Reinventing the Past in Poland and Hungary: The Politics of Historical Memory in East–Central Europe

    This paper has been based on three assumptions that have been widely discussed in the international political science: (1) there has been a decline of democracy in East–Central Europe (ECE) with the emergence of “velvet dictatorships”, (2) the velvet dictatorships rely on the soft power of media and communication rather on the hard power of state violence that has provoked “cultural wars“ and (3) the basic turning point is the transition from the former modernization narrative to the traditional narrative with “reinventing the past” and “reconceptualising modernity” through the reference to the historically given collective national identity by launching the “politics of historical memory”. The velvet dictatorships have been using and abusing the national history as an ideological drug to consolidate their power. The (social and national) populism and Euroscepticism are the basic twin terms to describe the soft power of the new (semi)authoritarian regimes. They are convertible, the two sides of the same coin, since they express the same divergence from the EU mainstream from inside and outside. Soft power means that the political contest in the new regimes has been transferred from the hard to the soft fields of politics as the fight between the confronting narratives. The victory of the traditionalist–nativist narrative carries also the message that the people are only passive “subjects” and not active citizens, so the field of politics has been extremely narrowed in the “new brave world” in ECE. 

  • The Proclamation of the Hungarian Republic in 1946

    The paper is dealing with the constitutional and historical importance of Act I. of 1946. In 1946 Hungary has changed its form of government. The passage of Act I of 1946 has defined Hungary’s form of government as a republic. In addition to the creation of a republic, the legislation provided powers for the president of the Hungarian Republic. Moreover, the Preamble of Act I. of 1946 was the first document in the Hungarian constitutional history which summarized and declared the most important natural and inalienable rights of the citizens.

  • Beyond Vote Rigging: Common Patterns in Electoral Malpractices in De-Democratizing Regimes

    For the past decade in many countries in Europe and its close neighborhood we have observed different types of processes which can be named as “de-democratization”. The aim of the article is to analyze the state of elections as the crucial democratic institution which fairness and competitiveness have a substantial impact on the political regime. While Turkey as a “role model” for our analysis remains a main focus of the article, three European countries were selected for a comparison based on their relative similarity to Turkey – Hungary, Macedonia (FYROM) and Serbia. The following questions are posed: Are elections in these countries free, fair and competitive? Can some types of electoral malpractice and irregularities be identified? How does the state of elections in terms of their fairness and competitiveness influence the political regime? The main hypothesis is that in the analyzed countries elections competitiveness limited by incumbents can become a factor deciding about the change within the political regime in the long run (loss of democratic quality) and also change the regime (to a less democratic one).

  • Broken Democracy, Predatory State and Nationalist Populism (Part 2)

    The main aim of the article is to try to analyze the functioning of Victor Orbán’s regime in Hungary in the period from 2010. Analyses oscillate between considering issues such as the development of democracy in Hungary after 1990, history and background of functioning of the Fidesz party, and the course of Orbán’s exercise of power. In the paper, the reasons behind the taking of power by Fidesz party were analyzed by taking into account the specifics of Hungarian democratic experience after 1989, processes of state’s reforms and economic crises. The article ends with the analysis of five pillars of Victor Orbán’s policies.

  • Broken Democracy, Predatory State and Nationalist Populism

    The main aim of the article is to try to analyze the functioning of Victor Orbán’s regime in Hungary in the period from 2010. Analyses oscillate between considering issues such as the development of democracy in Hungary after 1990, history and background of functioning of the Fidesz party, and the course of Orbán’s exercise of power. In the paper, the reasons behind the taking of power by Fidesz party were analyzed by taking into account the specifics of Hungarian democratic experience after 1989, processes of state’s reforms and economic crises. The article ends with the analysis of five pillars of Victor Orban’s policies.

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