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The laboratory called Hungary


One of the enigmas of present state of Hungarian democracy is the very limited public protest against different government decisions which, according to the report authored by the Green Party MEP Rui Tavares on behalf of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, are reconfiguring the institutions and infrastructure of democracy built after 1989.


This article is looking at the different recent Hungarian protest movements to claim that this enigma can be solved only if international research on democracy accepts that it is very difficult to identify the reasons of non-protest using the consensual analytical frame and terminology of research on social movements to describe the dynamics of trends in this “Laboratory” as Prime Minister Orbán referred to his electorate in London. However this attempt should be made, as the trends in Hungary might well be used by other European countries interested in successful crisis management techniques.


Specific conditions in Hungary


Since 2010, Hungary’s Christian-conservative coalition government, which has a two-thirds parliamentary majority, has successfully constructed its own state-funded (pseudo) NGO sector by means of a policy of centralization that aims, according to the government, to promote good government and efficiency.


The NGO sector established in this manner – including the Békemenet (Peace March) and associated organizations – is not based on liberal values and human rights. The Hungarian NGO sector, which had previously acted as a watchdog and voice for human rights values in accordance with the principles of liberal democracy, has been fundamentally transformed and it now struggles to respond effectively to the government’s most fundamental structural positionings, which have a broad support throughout Hungarian society.

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