De-democratization in Hungary: Diffusely Defective Democracy

TitleDe-democratization in Hungary: Diffusely Defective Democracy
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsBogaards, M.
Journal titleDemocratization

Scholarly attention has started to shift from democratization and democratic consolidation to trends of democratic deconsolidation, backsliding, regression, and erosion. This article examines Hungary as a deviant and exemplary case for understanding de-democratization. The starting point is the literature on defective democracy, which provides a unified framework of analysis for the causes and the outcomes of democratization. However, as the case of Hungary shows, de-democratization is not simply the mirror of democratization. In Hungary, both the outcome and the process of de-democratization defy expectations. The democratic defects do not conform to any of the standard types, instead resembling a “diffusely defective democracy”. Moreover, existing explanations fail to account for their emergence. The case of Hungary indicates that our knowledge of democratization may be a poor guide to understanding de-democratization.

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Department of Political Science
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