Challenges of the Illiberal Democracy in Hungary. Some Aspects to the 2018 Elections


Political transformation reached Hungary in parallel with other Central and Eastern European countries at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s. The core of the events, the year of 1989, the so called “annus mirabilis” when, within one year almost the entire Central and Eastern European region stepped onto the path of changes. The actors adopted Western patterns within a short period, institutions of new political systems were established, and a new political power verified and consolidated its legitimacy by free elections. As a final proof of transformation, most of former socialist bloc member states joined both the NATO and the European Union. Hungary had the chance to enter in the 21st century under radically changed and much more favourable conditions than it ever had before. This smooth transformation interrupted by political and economic crisis that finally led to the victory of the opposition that managed to repeat the next elections and implemented the Programme of National Cooperation. The aim of the paper is to analyse why the adoption of the new system enjoys wide support from different social groups and how the old fixations and obsessions persisted in society. This paper also gives a brief explanation about the nature of illiberal democracy in a wider scope and link it with the history of the Hungarian democracy, the (dis) functioning institutions, and confirms the argumentation with some statistical data explaining the correlation between the support of the government and the living standards. It investigates, if the Hungarian illiberal democratic regime interpreted as consequence of the troublesome system changes or if it is rooted in the distorted political system.

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