Tímea Drinóczi and Agnieszka Bień-KacałaSep 3, 2021
Illiberal Constitutionalism in Poland and Hungary
The Deterioration of Democracy, Misuse of Human Rights and Abuse of the Rule of Law
Over the past decade, Poland and Hungary have become laboratories for a new kind of government: proto-authoritarian regimes that still have regular elections, vibrant oppositions and are externally constrained by EU law and potential loss of fiscal transfers.
Viktor Orbán, Hungary's prime minister since 2010, especially has generated a comprehensive academic literature attempting to understand the special nature of his regime. Two earlier podcasts with András Körösényi and Gábor Scheiring about their efforts to classify Orbánism can be found in the NBN library and a conversation Lasse Skytt about his new edition of Orbanland (New Europe Books, 2021) is coming soon.
In their new book - Illiberal Constitutionalism in Poland and Hungary: The Deterioration of Democracy, Misuse of Human Rights and Abuse of the Rule of Law (Routledge, 2021) - Professors Drinóczi and Bień-Kacała redefine the models of government practised by Orbán and Jarosław Kaczyński. By examining Polish and Hungarian history, identity, and political and legal systems, as well as the influence of European rule of law, they alight on what they believe is a new political phenomenon: illiberal constitutionalism.
Agnieszka Bień-Kacała (a Pole) teaches law at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and Tímea Drinóczi (a Hungarian) teaches law at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil.
*The authors' own book recommendations are Poland's Constitutional Breakdown by Wojciech Sadurski (OUP Oxford, 2019) and Democratic Decline in Hungary Law and Society in an Illiberal Democracy by András László Pap (Routledge, 2017).
Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley advisors (a division of Energy Aspects).