Lessons from the Political Economy of Authoritarian Capitalism in Hungary
Hungary was once praised as an example of successful democratisation and EU integration, but now has joined the ranks of ‘liberal’ nations backsliding into authoritarianism. Many commentators blame Orbán and his anti-migrant, anti-EU populist rhetoric, but ignore the underlying causes in particular the failings of market reforms in the country, high unemployment, low wages, spiralling household debts, and a nationalist capitalist class resentful of the advantages given to their transnational capitalist competitors. To understand the emergence of authoritarian capitalism in Hungary, this paper digs deeper into the contradictions of post-socialist liberal policies and institutions to unearth its social and economic roots.
Transnational Institute, Challenging authoritarianism series, No 1