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Orban’s Hungary: From “Illiberal Democracy” to the Authoritarian Temptation


“The new state that we are building is an illiberal state, a non-liberal state.” Viktor Orbán made a name for himself in 2014 by co-opting a political science term to “theorize” his regime’s drift toward authoritarianism. Under his leadership, his party Fidesz (Alliance of Young Democrats) has won six elections in a row, three of them parliamentary elections. Each of the latter victories has given him a two-thirds majority of seats in parliament, enabling him to revise the constitution so as to radically transform the institutional system and consolidate his grip on all the levers of power. The scale of this ascendancy, accompanied by nationalist and sovereignist rhetoric, raises the question of what kind of regime this has become. “Democratic backsliding,” “competitive authoritarianism,” “democratura,” “national-populism”: these terms and many others have been used to describe Hungary over the past decade. Has the poster child of democratic transition become the champion of authoritarian regression? How has the paradigm of democratic transition shifted to one of de-democratization in Central Europe?
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hal-03605794 , version 1 (11-03-2022)



Jacques Rupnik. Orban’s Hungary: From “Illiberal Democracy” to the Authoritarian Temptation. Contemporary Populists in Power, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.133-151, 2022, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, 9783030840785. ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-84079-2_8⟩. ⟨hal-03605794⟩
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