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The Hungarian Patient

Social Opposition to an Illiberal Democracy

Edited by Peter Krasztev and Jon Van Til

Publication Year: 2015

This book presents compelling essays by leading Hungarian and foreign authors on the variety of social movements and parties that seek influence and power in a Hungary mired in deep and manifold crisis. The main question the volume tries to answer is: what can we expect after the fall of the semi-authoritarian Orbán regime in Hungary. Who will be the new players? What are their backgrounds? What are their political and social ideals, intentions and methods? The studies in the first section of the volume provide the reader with the reasons of the emergence of these new movements: a deep analysis of the historical, political and cultural background of the current situation. The second part contains essays and case studies which challenge the movements and parties involved to look beyond their current ineffectiveness, and to find ways of meeting the challenges that would allow them to exercise responsible and effective leadership in their time and place. This collection would be the first of the kind both in the field of movement theory/history and democracy studies because it reflects on very recent developments not researched in the international scholarly literature. One would not be able to understand contemporary Hungarian society without reading it before the 2014 elections.

Published by: Central European University Press

Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Illustrations

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pp. ix-xi

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xv

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...

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Acknowledgements

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p. xvii

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...

Abbreviations

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pp. xix-xx

Diagnosis

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1. Broken Democracy, Predatory State, and Nationalist Populism

András Bozóki

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pp. 3-36

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...

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2. Hungary’s Illiberal Turn: Disabling the Constitution

Miklós Bánkuti, Gábor Halmai, Kim Lane Scheppele

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pp. 37-46

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...

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3. Enhancing the Effectiveness of Basic Rights Protection in the Ombudsman’s Activity: Toward a European Type of Ombudsman System

Máté Szabó

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pp. 47-56

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...

Symptoms

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4. Party Colonization of the Media: The Case of Hungary

Péter Bajomi-Lázár

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pp. 59-80

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...

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5. Captured by State and Church: Civil Society in Democratic Hungary

Ágnes Kövér

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pp. 81-90

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...

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6. Political Empowerment or Political Incarceration of Romani? The Hungarian Version of the Politics of Dispossession

Angéla Kóczé

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pp. 91-110

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...

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7. Timike and the Sweetie Pies: Fragmented Discourses about Women in Hungarian Public Life

Ágnes Kövér

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pp. 111-132

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...

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8. The Rise of the Radical Right in Hungary

András Tóth and István Grajczjár

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pp. 133-166

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...

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9. Social Responses to the “Hybridization” of the Political System: The Case of Hungary in the Central and Eastern European Context

Péter Krasztev

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pp. 167-180

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...

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10. The Road of the Hungarian Solidarity Movement

János Boris, György Vári

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pp. 181-206

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...

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11. Milla: A Suspended Experiment

György Petőcz

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pp. 207-230

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...

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12. The Rise of the LMP Party and the Spirit of Ecological Movements

András Tóth

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pp. 231-262

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...

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13. The Hungarian Student Network: A Counterculture in the Making

Alexandra Zontea

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pp. 263-290

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...

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14. Increasingly Radical Interventions: The New Wave of Political Art in Hungary

Gergely Nagy

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pp. 291-316

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...

Life Perspectives

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15. From Belarus to Hungary: Lessons from a Traditionalist Revolution

Balázs Jarábik

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pp. 319-344

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...

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16. Dark VikTory

Joseph B. Juhász

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pp. 345-366

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...

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17. Democratic Resurgence in Hungary: Challenges to Oppositional Movement (An Open-Ended Conclusion)

Jon Van Til

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pp. 367-384

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...

Contributors

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pp. 385-386

Index

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pp. 387-390


E-ISBN-13: 9786155225550
Print-ISBN-13: 9786155053085

Page Count: 410
Publication Year: 2015

Edition: 1st

OCLC Number: 914028291
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Hungarian Patient