Building Enduring Democracies: Filip Milačić on the Effects of Nation and State Building on Democratic Consolidation

In this conversation with RevDem assistant editor Lorena Drakula, Filip Milačić – author of the book “Stateness and Democratic Consolidation. Lessons from Former Yugoslavia” – discusses the effects unresolved issues of stateness can have on the trajectories of democratic consolidation; how political actors can instrumentalize polarization in society to justify authoritarian measures; and what can be learned for democracy promotion projects today.

Beverly Gage on J. Edgar Hoover and the American Century

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Beverly Gage – author of the new biography “G-Man. J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century” – discusses how Hoover built and shaped the FBI and what made him enjoy such an exceptional and long-lasting career; dissects his contradictions, reflecting on the sources of his popularity and why his reputation got so badly damaged; and explains what original sources and innovative scholarship a new biography of him can utilize and what placing him at the center of the American Century can teach us.

New Year Special

In a special edition of the RevDem podcast, our editors Laszlo Bruszt, Oliver Garner, Kasia Krzyżanowska, Ferenc Laczo, Michał Matlak, and Renata Uitz discuss their favorite RevDem content, best books and articles they have read, most important political events of 2022 and more. At the end of the episode, they are joined by the authors of the most popular piece of 2022 published by RevDem: an op-ed by Elżbieta Krzyżanowska and Pavel Skigin “The discourse of privilege: Western Europe and the Russian War against Ukraine.”

Asking the wrong questions, the wrong way: Why replicating “national consultations” is an inadequate response to their success

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.

The Hungarian Government Became Hostage of Its Own Propaganda

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.

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