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June 1, 2015
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The Hungarian Patient

Social Opposition to an Illiberal Democracy

This book presents compelling essays by leading Hungarian and foreign authors on the variety of social movements and parties that seek influence and power in a Hungary mired in deep and manifold crisis.

The main question the volume tries to answer is: what can we expect after the fall of the semi-authoritarian Orbán regime in Hungary. Who will be the new players? What are their backgrounds? What are their political and social ideals, intentions and methods?

The studies in the first section of the volume provide the reader with the reasons of the emergence of these new movements: a deep analysis of the historical, political and cultural background of the current situation. The second part contains essays and case studies which challenge the movements and parties involved to look beyond their current ineffectiveness, and to find ways of meeting the challenges that would allow them to exercise responsible and effective leadership in their time and place.

This collection would be the first of the kind both in the field of movement theory/history and democracy studies because it reflects on very recent developments not researched in the international scholarly literature. One would not be able to understand contemporary Hungarian society without reading it before the 2014 elections.

About the Authors

Péter Krasztev is Associate Professor at the Budapest Business School (BGF). Jon Van Til is Professor Emeritus of Urban Studies and Community Planning at Rutgers University, Camden.  


"This book stands out among the recent publications on Hungary. Discussing Hungary as a 'patient', the book is divided into a diagnosis (analysing the changes introduced by Fidesz), various symptoms (addressing social problems and marginalisation in Hungarian society, often with a long-term perspective), immune reactions (movements and parties that organise protests and resistance to Fidesz) and future perspectives. Every chapter within these sections discusses a different topic or field, though there is some overlap, as patterns of discrimination and roots of opposition groups are similar. Any reader willing to make their way through, even those well-versed in Hungarian politics, will encounter a myriad of interesting ideas and previously unknown facts."—Europe-Asia Studies

"The Hungarian Patient should be compulsory reading for all Europeans, at least for those engaged in policy making and in Civil Society. In an alarming way, this book shows to which end the rightist takeover leads: to a complete deconstruction of liberal democracies..."—Nonprofit Policy Forum

"Fidesz's dominance is (was) unprecedented. And what makes the phenomenon even more interesting is that the events leading up to Fidesz's 2010 electoral victory were democratic. The book is not just about Hungary's electoral backslide, but rather the democratic emergence of an illiberal party. The strength of this edited book is its depth: With one exception, the contributors are interested in the details of one single case: Hungary."—Taiwan Journal of Democracy


"This book will take its place as the definitive work on the contemporary social-political scene in Hungary. Issues of democracy, pluralism, and participation are being closely monitored throughout the world, and Hungary's retreat from these values is of vital importance."—Ivan Krastev

"The volume offers thorough analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of domestic democratic agency in Hungary, highlighting in several different ways the perils of political polarization. As the editors, wisely, do not try to impose a unified analytical frame on the study of a still emerging political arrangement, the volume can serve both as a collection of background readings rich in details, and, as a textbook opulent with alternative frames to grasp authoritarian trends and anti-authoritarian movements in contemporary Hungary."—László Bruszt

9786155053054 : the-hungarian-patient-krasztev-til
Paperback / softback
412 Pages
$35.95 USD
9786155053085 : the-hungarian-patient-krasztev-til
412 Pages
$111.00 USD

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