Civil Movements in an Illiberal Regime
Political Activism in Hungary
Dániel Mikecz addresses in this study the tensions between oppositional civil society and party-political actors. As successive elections demonstrate the increasing confidence of the illiberal regime of Viktor Orbán, left and liberal parties of the opposition have faced a prolonged crisis in credibility. At the same time, the civil society has not been immobile, and bottom-up initiatives, social and political movements, and non-governmental organizations have gained momentum in the public sphere. The ruling power is also active in the extra-parliamentary political arena. Through national consultations, Peace Marches, and other means, Orbán's governing Fidesz party has mobilized voters outside of election campaigns and has implemented a so-called movement governance. The study offers a vivid examination of this top-down or astroturf mobilization of the regime.
Mikecz identifies the different patterns of activism and creates a coherent typology. He describes in detail each kind of activism based on opinion surveys, protest surveys and content analysis. The categorization and comprehensive exploration of civil movements provide a deep understanding of the mechanisms of illiberal postcommunist regimes.
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