The Hungarian Patient
Social Opposition to an Illiberal Democracy
Publication Year: 2015
Published by: Central European University Press
Title page, Copyright, Dedication
This volume is envisioned as a kind of a guidebook to the contemporary Hungarian political scene. The case of Hungary, the way this country has slowly deconstructed its democratic institutions, which it had gradually built up over the past two decades, makes it unique in the...
We would like to express our gratitude to all friends and colleagues who encouraged us and provided us with useful critiques; to our first readers, Professor László Bruszt and Ivan Krastev; as well as to Professor Judit Sándor and Professor György Majtényi. We feel deeply...
1. Broken Democracy, Predatory State, and Nationalist Populism
A new, right-wing government came to power in Hungary in May 2010, led by Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party.1 Since doing so, it has significantly altered the country’s legal, social, and political infrastructure. The 53 percent absolute majority it achieved at the ballot boxes...
2. Hungary’s Illiberal Turn: Disabling the Constitution
Miklós Bánkuti, Gábor Halmai, Kim Lane Scheppele
In Hungary’s April 2010 general elections, former prime minister Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party won an overwhelming majority of the seats in parliament. The elections gave voters a choice among the discredited Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), which had governed...
3. Enhancing the Effectiveness of Basic Rights Protection in the Ombudsman’s Activity: Toward a European Type of Ombudsman System
In contemporary Hungary, it is the commissioner for fundamental rights (ombudsman), not the citizen, who knocks on the door of the Constitutional Court. As of January 1, 2012, not every citizen has the actio popularis1 at his or her disposal for initiating the abstract...
4. Party Colonization of the Media: The Case of Hungary
Media scholars looking into the relationship between political and media systems in the former communist countries have mainly worked on the assumption that parties seek control over the media in order to suppress critical voices and to gain favorable coverage so that they can...
5. Captured by State and Church: Civil Society in Democratic Hungary
The vibrant third sector (herein referred to as the civil sector) arising from the political changes of 1989 raised the question of whether it would develop toward state control or move toward developing a robust partnership and dialogue with the state.1 Paradoxically, both these possibilities...
6. Political Empowerment or Political Incarceration of Romani? The Hungarian Version of the Politics of Dispossession
Following 1989, Hungarian society went through an extraordinary economic, political, and social transformation that significantly influenced the overall situation of its Roma population.1 The Hungarian regime change was strongly connected to external political forces such...
7. Timike and the Sweetie Pies: Fragmented Discourses about Women in Hungarian Public Life
In this chapter, I deal with discourses which overtly or covertly encompass aspects of womanhood and femininity, and seek to illuminate the power of discourses constructing women and femininity in the Hungarian public mindset. Talk about women and gender issues is accepted...
8. The Rise of the Radical Right in Hungary
András Tóth and István Grajczjár
In this chapter, we argue that there is a new wave of radical populist parties
emerging in the crisis-ridden periphery of Europe.
It is a well-known phenomenon that radical right-wing parties are emerging in historical waves. Following the defeat of the wave of interwar...
9. Social Responses to the “Hybridization” of the Political System: The Case of Hungary in the Central and Eastern European Context
Modern revolutions come in various colors—rose, jasmine, orange or tulip—but they can also hide beneath pseudonyms such as the Arab Spring, the Bulldozer Revolution or the Revolution of the Elections. But what are they: symptoms of decay or hellfire, the most recent...
10. The Road of the Hungarian Solidarity Movement
János Boris, György Vári
Fledgling dictatorships and authoritarian regimes typically pamper their armed forces and law enforcement agencies, showering money and privileges on their members in order to win their loyalty and have them safely on their side in case of possible confrontations with the...
11. Milla: A Suspended Experiment
The story of One Million for the Freedom of the Press in Hungary (Milla) is a short chapter in the 25-year Hungarian political transformation. It was an experiment that came to a quick halt, never quite expressing or even conceptualizing the question of whether or not the postcommunist...
12. The Rise of the LMP Party and the Spirit of Ecological Movements
The aim of this chapter is to tell the tale of a relatively coherent cohort of young, educated, smart, optimistic, enthusiastic, and well-intentioned people who established a political party aimed at overcoming the coldwar– like divisions of Hungarian politics in order to achieve...
13. The Hungarian Student Network: A Counterculture in the Making
The present chapter is based on a study conducted at the beginning of 2013 that focused on the occupation of the Faculty of Humanities (BTK) at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) building in February 2013, an event also known as the Blockade (blokád). The event was...
14. Increasingly Radical Interventions: The New Wave of Political Art in Hungary
In this essay, visual arts will enjoy the most attention partly because, in my view, that is the area where the turn toward a political and activist approach has been the most pronounced. Also, I focused on visual art because contemporary domestic criticism has not described...
15. From Belarus to Hungary: Lessons from a Traditionalist Revolution
Comparison of these two countries may spark controversy for many reasons: in the West, Belarus is seen as a pariah nation. When I first compared Hungary and Belarus at a conference dedicated to Eastern Europe in Copenhagen three years ago, a high-ranking Hungarian diplomat...
16. Dark VikTory
Joseph B. Juhász
What follows is a loosely bookreviewish, psychodynamish-litcritty interpretation and exegesis of two recent books: Igor Janke’s best seller in Hungary, Hajrá, magyarok!,1 a biography of Viktor Orbán; and the collection of essays Magyar polip,2 edited by Bálint Magyar...
17. Democratic Resurgence in Hungary: Challenges to Oppositional Movement (An Open-Ended Conclusion)
Jon Van Til
If the future is the child of the past, mediated by a thin moving line of present moments that link these seeming infinities, then Hungary will continue to be a worried land. The cloudy colors1 of its dismal 20thcentury history and its troubled entry to the 21st—so often...
Page Count: 410
Publication Year: 2015
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