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.

How 2000 people made an impact at a time when society was silent: András Bozóki on the rolling transition of Hungary

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.

The Trouble with Fortune: Zsuzsanna Szelényi on Hungary’s Tainted Democracy

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Zsuzsanna Szelényi – author of the new book “Tainted Democracy. Viktor Orbán and the Subversion of Hungary” – analyzes the main characteristics of the Orbán regime and the techniques Hungary’s current rulers have employed to establish their dominance over the country’s economy; reflects on the dilemmas and strategies of the Hungarian opposition; examines the role of gendered practices in Hungarian politics; and discusses the reasons behind the sharp democratic reversal and decline of the early 21st century.

What Does Right-Wing Anti-Gender Mobilization Have to Do with Progressive Gender Trends? Eszter Kováts Investigates the Politics of Fidesz and AfD

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Eszter Kováts discusses the conclusions she has drawn from her comparison of the discourse coalitions around AfD in Germany and Fidesz in Hungary.

A Global History of Hungary: In Conversation with Ferenc Laczó, Bálint Varga, and Dóra Vargha

In this conversation with Bence Bari and Orsolya Sudár, editors Ferenc Laczó and Bálint Varga and contributor Dóra Vargha discuss the new volume “Magyarország globális története, 1869-2022 (A Global History of Hungary, 1869-2022)”. The conversation focuses on some of the innovative questions posed by trying to reconceptualize the history of a Central and Eastern European country in a global frame; how the subjects of the volume’s one hundred chapters have been selected; the relation of this new book to other narratives of Hungarian history; and the more political stakes of releasing such a publication today.

In Conversation with Eva Fodor: How the Carefare Gender Regime Shapes Hungary

RevDem Editor László Bence Bari in conversation with Éva Fodor, Professor at the Gender Studies and Pro-Rector of the Central European University about her latest book “The Gender Regime of Anti-Liberal Hungary”. In this book, she argues that the anti-liberal government of Hungary has established a specific kind of gender regime, the ’carefare’ policy which allows the government to stabilize and expand its rule over society and to support its ideological and political goals.

‘In the Name of the Family’: Conference Report on the Budapest Demographic Summit

The authors summarize and contextualize the content of the summit to argue that the conference not only provided an opportunity for its participants to address the ‘demographic crisis’ in Europe and the ‘family politics of conservative’ governments,’ but also amounted to an attempt to develop a transnational narrative for such self-declared conservatives that could unite political and ideological actors on various continents.

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