Short description of the project:
From 2010 onwards, Hungary has become an illustration of populism, illiberalism and a drift towards authoritarian rule. The democratic backsliding implied in these understandings has posed a riddle for scholars since it challenges their previous assessment of democratic consolidation. So far, political scientists have offered two different explanations for post-2010 Hungarian politics: the first evaluates Orbán’s record within the framework of populism, while the second analyses it within a regime classification paradigm resting on assumptions about democratization. Challenging the methodology, the conceptual framework, and the explanation of these approaches, this project claims that the Orbán regime is a paradigmatic case of the Weberian plebiscitary leader democracy. The concept of plebiscitary leader democracy not only connects populism and the hybrid-regime approach but, additionally, places them into the broader perspective of the Weberian types of authority and regimes.
Research period: 2018-2021
Principal investigator: András Körösényi
Participating researchers: Attila Gyulai, Gábor Illés
Körösényi, András 2018: The Theory and Practice of Plebiscitary Leadership: Weber and the Orbán regime. East European Politics and Societies and Cultures, First Published September 25, 2018 https://doi.org/10.1177/0888325418796929