Although national referenda have become a rare species in post-2010 Hungary, the use of another instrument of plebiscitarian democracy—non-binding informal polls called national consultations—has not only been serving as a legitimization tool of government policies, but it has also been adopted by an opposition movement as a mobilization technique. This article argues that the strategic adoption of populist democratic repertoires, along with their main procedural flaws, is a threat to democratic representation. There is a need to shift discussions toward how these processes can be improved.
In this conversation with RevDem Editor Robert Nemeth, Hungarian journalist Szabolcs Panyi talks about the Hungarian government’s response to the war in Ukraine, why it is not willing to counter Russian infiltration in Hungary, the reasons behind the anti-US sentiment of Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his inner circle, and anti-Western propaganda in Hungary. He also discusses how being targeted by the Pegasus spyware impacted him.
In this conversation with RevDem Political Economy and Inequalities section co-head Vera Scepanovic, Nancy Fraser – whose newest book “Cannibal Capitalism” has just been released – explains why the ongoing crises of democracy, healthcare, climate, and racial injustice are really manifestations of a single broader crisis of capitalism; how the ability of capitalism to survive by redrawing boundaries between the economic and non-economic realms is being challenged; and what an emancipatory coalition building might look like that ambitions more than greater inclusion into the existing system.
In this podcast episode, Teodora Miljojkovic discusses with Nino Tsereteli the roadblocks to Georgia’s accession to the European Union. Their discussion covers how the response from Georgian citizen’s differs from the response of the Georgian government; what reforms are needed in order for Georgia to get closer to the compliance with the Copenhagen criteria; how informal powers negatively impact Georgian governance and how they can be overcome; and if Nino Tsereteli believes the will in both Georgia and the EU remain for progress towards EU accession.
In this op-ed, Ferenc Laczó explores how Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s regime “has been succeeding to a remarkable degree at translating key aspects of Hungarian ethnic nationalism into a wider panic about the future of Western civilization.”
In this conversation with RevDem assistant editor Iker Itoiz Ciáurriz, Archie Brown – author of the recently released book “The Human Factor. Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher, and the End of the Cold War” – explains why he approaches the end of the Cold War through the study of political leaders; explores the different personal formations and the varying relationships between his three main protagonists before and after 1985; elaborates on his views on when and how the Cold War ended; and elucidates why the relationship between Russia and the West has deteriorated in the post-Cold War decades.
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Susan Neiman dissects what has made the articulation of universalistic Jewish commitments increasingly difficult in the German public sphere; explores why debates concerning global colonialism and the Nazi-colonial connection tend to be so fraught in the country; explains what post-colonial criticisms misunderstand about the intellectual heritage of the Enlightenment; and shows how both ignorance regarding Eastern Europe and social solidarity with the victims have shaped German responses to the ongoing Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
In this discussion, RevDem Managing Editor Michał Matlak discusses with András Bozóki about his last book, “Rolling Transition and the Role of Intellectuals: Case of Hungary”, published this year by Central European University Press, which tells a compelling story of the role of intellectuals in political and social change that took place in Hungary between 1977-1994.
Alina Tryfonidou (Neapolis University Paphos) presented the main points of her work on the obstacles that rainbow families face on the road to equality in the European Union. The presentation was followed by comments from Ivana Isailović (University of Amsterdam) and Dimitra Kochenov (Central European University), who also chaired the debate.
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Luke Savage – author of “The Dead Center. Reflections on Liberalism and Democracy After the End of History” – discusses key aspects of his critique of contemporary liberalism; reflects on the role of generational experiences in shaping the search for a political alternative; offers a detailed assessment of Joe Biden’s ongoing presidency; and ponders whether democratic socialists have managed to challenge the hegemony of liberal ways of thinking and transform the political conversation.