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From Jobbik to the myth of 'stolen transition', a series of dispatches from Viktor Orbán's illiberal democracy.


Viktor Orban and the rise of the populist right...right?

Viktor Orban, like European populists in general, is neither of the right nor the left. He is a child of both.

"It takes broken bones": authoritarianism and violence against women in Hungary

Right-wing discourse in Hungarian politics is matched by the government’s regressive handling of gender issues, as structural violence against the socially marginalised interplays with violence against women.

When the European moral vacuum meets Hungary’s autocratic regime

Hungary is obviously moving towards autocracy. But we have to ask ourselves two questions. Would it be useful for the EU to introduce measures against a country with democratic problems? Secondly, is Europe in the moral, political and economic state to be able to act? Both questions require thorough deliberation. 

How Hungary can be led back to the path of liberal democracy

What has led Hungary down the path of an 'illiberal democracy', and how can a potential crisis within the EU be averted?

Hungary's Fidesz and its 'Jewish Question'

Hungary’s Fidesz government may not have pursued a state-sponsored policy of anti-Semitism. However, it has indulged in outrageous historical revisionism; failed to censure anti-Semitism from high within its own ranks; and screwed up its official commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust in Hungary.

Brave new Hungary

Fidesz does not have any coherent ideology, but depending on the context, employs elements of various currents, mixing neo-conservative tropes (God, Patria, Family) with anti-globalization arguments (anti-corporation, anti-finance), classic populist slogans with anti-EU and anti-minority refrains echoed by extreme right groups.

On Roma murders in Hungary

Why did the police not take the investigation seriously at first? Why did the political elite need six victims to admit that these people were murdered because of their Roma identity, to acknowledge the neo-Nazi terrorist nature of their acts?

More Hungarys in eastern Europe?

Viktor Orbán is a perfect populist who exploits the chameleon nature of populism like no other, from radical liberalism to his new 'illiberal state'. Worryingly his bravado is becoming a source of inspiration for many other European politicians. But what is he after?

Hungarian despotism: Europe must act

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has openly vowed to turn the country into an ‘illiberal state’. Europe cannot let this happen.

Slow and steady: Hungary’s media clampdown

The Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, sent a frisson across the EU with his boast last weekend that he is building a “non-liberal” state, like in China, Russia or Turkey, free of “western European dogma”—but then his steady destruction of liberty in Hungary has gone largely unchallenged.

Judgment in Hungary

In 2008 and 2009, a group of Hungarian right-wing extremists committed a series of vicious attacks on members of the Roma community. Six people were killed, including a five year old boy. Film review.

The paradox of ethnic homogeneity - a Hungarian example

Hungarian nationalists have been trying to promote the idea that we are an "ethnically homogenous" people - an idea that is patently absurd!

The conspiratorial mindset in Europe

Scepticism is healthy for democracy, but not when it degenerates into belief in conspiracy theories. Dieudonné and Jobbik are but two recent examples that the conspiratorial mindset is alive and well in Europe.

Winter chill over Hungary’s autumn

The only electoral promise Fidesz has fulfilled has been the “restoration of order”, through a myriad of laws, decrees and regulations, a particularly harsh new Penal Code and several new organizations.

Preventing more Hungarys – a stronger human rights architecture for the EU

The EU is becoming increasingly involved in policy areas that many consider the holy grail of national sovereignty. How did this come about? The short answer is: Hungary.

Higher education under threat in Hungary

The drastic higher education reforms the Hungarian government has introduced in the last months of 2012 have sparked nationwide protests. But while the government continues to implement contradictory reform, resistance from below is gaining ground.

There and back again? Media freedom and autonomy in Central and Eastern Europe

Collusion between the press and politicians is not confined to western Europe. Central and Eastern European countries are also plagued by their own mini-Murdochs – and in these more fragile democracies, they represent an even bigger threat.

Hungary: the vanguard of Europe’s rearguard?

Confrontation takes creative and alternative forms in the street demonstrations, which may appear, at first sight, contradictory – one week anti-government, pro-European, the next week pro-government, anti-EU.

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