Publications of Mudde, C.

Hungary’s Illiberal Turn: Can Outsiders Help?

Hungary’s "constitutional revolution" presents the most significant case of democratic backsliding in the European Union to date. The illiberal constitution, introduced by the Orbán government and protected by a host of new appointees, undermines the independence of various political institutions and guarantees virtually unlimited powers for the ruling party. But it also challenges the core values of the European Union, while underscoring significant limitations of supranational community in regulating the more troublesome behavior of its member states. In this article, the authors identify the key weaknesses of the main domestic and international actors in resisting Orbán’s constitutional revolution and highlight some promising developments within Hungarian civil society, which deserve direct and indirect support from the international community.

Merlingen M, Mudde C, Sedelmeier U. Konstitutionalisierungsprozesse durch die EU Erweiterungspolitik: Identitaetsbildung, Interessenpolitik und EU-Recht in der Analyse der Sanktionen der EU-Vierzehn gegen die oesterreichische Regierung. In: Dieringer J, Okruch S, editors. Von der Idee zum Konvent : eine interdisziplinaere Betrachtung des europaeischen Integrationsprozesses. Vol 3. Budapest: Andrássy Universität; 2004. p. 211-27. (Andrássy Schriftenreihe; vol 3).

The right and the righteous? European norms, domestic politics and the sanctions against Austria

In February 2000, 14 EU Member States collectively took the unprecedented step of imposing bilateral sanctions on their Austrian EU partner. How can this be explained? Was it, as the 14 governments argued, because the inclusion in the Austrian government of Jörg Haider's extreme right FPö opposes many of the ideas making up the common identity of the EU? Or, were the sanctions motivated, as the Austrian government argued, by narrow-minded party political interests that lurked beneath the rhetoric of shared European norms and values? Our analysis suggests that, without the particular concerns about domestic politics of certain politicians, it is unlikely that the sanctions against Austria would have been adopted in this form. On the other hand, without the recent establishment of concerns about human rights and democratic principles as an EU norm, it is unlikely that these particular sanctions would have been adopted collectively by all member governments. Thus, while norms might have been used instrumentally, such instrumental use only works, in the sense of inducing compliant behaviour, if the norms have acquired a certain degree of taken-for-grantedness within the relevant group of actors or institution. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]