Democracy cannot really function if it is not liberal. Interview with Cas Mudde
Among the challengers to liberal democracy in Europe, we can count populists, autocrats, and the increasingly often mentioned illiberals. But who are they and what is illiberalism? How does it relate to populism? Can illiberals be democrats at all? What are the policy implications of having illiberal politicians, especially of the radical right, in power in the EU? This interview explores these questions with Professor Cas Mudde. It covers various issues at the intersection of academic and policy research on populism, illiberalism, democracy, and the radical right. It discusses whether the growing body of literature on illiberalism addresses something that is fundamentally new on the global political agenda, how this literature relates to academic research on populism, and if illiberalism and democracy are reconcilable against the backdrop of a global trend of autocratization, which many scholars of democracy have noted, and which is often attributed to illiberal and populist [...]
The Role of (EU) Competition Law in Defending the Rule of Law
Kati Cseres is an Associate Professor of Law at the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG) and Program Director of the EU Law Masters at the University of Amsterdam. This series of RevDem op-eds collects reflections on the contemporaneous challenges for the Rule of Law, which stemmed from the conference organized at Radboud University (Nijmegen) on 21-22 September in honour of Prof. Petra Bàrd. This is the latest entry following previous contributions by Benedetta Lobina on the Russo-Ukrainian war, and Pauline Thinus on EU spending conditionality.
Bloodless Murder: Stefano Bottoni on How the Orbán Regime Was Made and What Hungary Has Become
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Stefano Bottoni – author of the new Hungarian-language book A hatalom megszállottja. Orbán Viktor Magyarországa (Obsessed with Power. Viktor Orbán’s Hungary) – discusses how the current political system has been built up in Hungary and which theories might help us analyse this process; reflects on the Orbán regime’s sources of legitimacy and internal contradictions; and explores the changing relationship of the country to the European Union and to Putin’s Russia.
From democracy to authoritarian capitalism
In this op-ed, Gábor Scheiring explores the latest Freedom House Nations in Transit Report, its implications for Hungary, and how the report only reveals the tip of the iceberg of the democratic backsliding in Hungary.
Suspending Hungary’s Presidency of the Council of the EU? In Conversation with John Morijn and Alberto Alemanno
In recent weeks proposals by the Meijers Committee to suspend Hungary’s Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2024 have received support in a resolution of the European Parliament. In this RevDem Rule of Law podcast, Oliver Garner discusses these proposals in the wider context of the Rule of Law crisis with John Morijn and Alberto Alemanno.
A life for power? Viktor Orbán’s long affair with Hungary
Do the familiar tropes of anti-tyrannical literature explain anything about what happened and is still happening in contemporary Hungary, a country that has changed so profoundly not only as compared to its post-1989 realities but from its 2010 self too?
The Curse of the Margin? Central Europe before and after Communism
In conversation with RevDem assistant editor Lucie Hunter, Dr. Aliaksei Kazharski discusses his newest book Central Europe Thirty Years after the Fall of Communism: A Return to the Margin? (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022, 2022).
Informal Power in Hungary and Poland: In Conversation with Edit Zgut-Przybylska
Formal Rule of Law backsliding in Hungary and Poland has been well-publicized. Yet this is just the tip of the iceberg of a system of informal power connections that are undermining the Rule of Law and democracy. In this RevDem Rule of Law podcast Oliver Garner discusses this informal power with Edit Zgut-Przybylska.
Helsinki in Budapest: In Conversation with András Kádár and Márta Pardavi
In the latest RevDem Rule of Law podcast Oliver Garner discusses the work of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. András Kádár is an attorney at law and co-chair of the Committee. Amongst other engagements and positions he is the Hungarian member of the European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-Discrimination field. Márta Pardavi is the other co-chair of the Committee and she also co-leads the Recharging Advocacy for Rights in Europe (RARE) program. Previously, she has been a policy leader fellow at the EUI School of Transnational Governance in Florence.
In conversation with Jakub Jaraczewski: The European Commission’s latest action against Poland and Hungary
In this latest RevDem Rule of Law podcast, Oliver Garner speaks to Jakub Jaraczewski about the European Commission’s latest actions to defend the EU’s values against backsliding Member States. Jakub is a Research Coordinator at Democracy Reporting International, a Berlin based NGO, and one of the coordinators of the “re:constitution” programme.
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.
George Soros’ philanthropy is based completely on values: A conversation with Peter Osnos
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Peter Osnos discusses his new edited volume "George Soros: A Life in Full".
Hungary two months before the elections – can the opposition win? Zsolt Enyedi in conversation with Daniel Rona [Party Co-Op Series]
Zsolt Enyedi discusses with Daniel Rona, director of the 21 research center the key questions related to the cooperation between the opposition parties before the April elections.
‘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.
Informal power – undermining democracy under the EU’s radar in Hungary and Poland
In this article, Edit Zgut discusses how the governments in Hungary and Poland have been able to undermine democracy using informal power, namely political clientism and media capture, while "flying beneath the radar" of EU's mechanisms which are meant to prevent such deteriorations.
How populists change parliaments
In their op-ed, Aleksandra Maatsch and Eric Miklin argue populist parties are both willing and able to weaken or even disempower representative institutions.
Márki-Zay would be a Never Trump Republican in America
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Gábor Tóka talks about the Fall 2021 Hungarian opposition primaries
Zsolt Enyedi: Is it still possible to win an election in Hungary, if you’re not Viktor Orbán?
Michal Matlak interviews Zsolt Enyedi about the development of Church-State relations in Hungary, Viktor Orban’s vision of Christian Democracy, why the Democracy Institute plays an important symbolic role in Budapest, and about his recently published book, “Party System Closure: Party Alliances, Government Alternatives, and Democracy in Europe”