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  • Writer's picturegaborscheiring

The Political Economy of De-Democratization in Hungary


Most of the recent episodes of democratic backsliding do not fit well the existing theoretical approaches. Understanding the process of democratic backsliding in Hungary represents a unique opportunity to revise and refine theories of democratic consolidation and backsliding. This article provides a Weberian class based and international political economy inspired account of de-democratization. Using descriptive and comparative macro-economic and macro-social statics as well as providing two case studies the paper analyses the two sides of the development trajectory that lead up to democratic backsliding in Hungary: (1) the exhaustion of the political economy of patience and the resulting demobilization of the voters of the Left and (2) the polarization of the economic elite leading to the native capitalist class pushing for central intervention into existing rights to secure protection and accelerated capital accumulation. Both processes are linked to the Hungarian political economic model of international integration, to the evolving tensions of building capitalism without capitalists.


Scheiring, Gábor. 2015. "The Political Economy of De-Democratisation in Hungary." Prague, Czech Republic: Paper presented at the Session of the Critical Political Economy Network at the 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association, 25-28 August 2015.


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