How did Orban win a Fourth Term? Illiberal Democracy in Hungary


Hungary's Viktor Orban, the originator of the notion of illiberal democracy, has now been re-elected for four more years as Prime Minister of Hungary. This is on top of the 12 years that have preceded this election, and a previous stint as prime minister. This time he won with a supermajority that allows his party to revise the Constitution unilaterally. How did he do it? What can we expect from the ruler whom many regard as the greatest threat to democracy and Eastern Europe other than Russia? What will the EU do? This week, RBI director John Torpey talks to San Diego State University Professor and corruption scholar David Jancsics about the recent victory of Victor Orban after twelve years in office and how this time he has managed to amass more power than ever before. Jancsics discusses the Hungarian state as a “monopoly of corruption” where Orban has created a network of clientielism and loyalties that maintains him in power while giving the impression of legitimacy. Additionally, Jancsics unveils how the war in Ukraine has served Orban’s electoral strategy of enhancing the rhetoric of “us and them,” where the outer world creates threats against which the only stable protection is Orbanism.

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International Horizons

International Horizons is a podcast of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies that brings scholarly expertise to bear on our understanding of international issues. John Torpey, the host of the podcast and director of the Ralph Bunche Institute, holds conversations with prominent scholars and figures in state-of-the-art international issues in our weekly episodes.

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