Hungary’s Illiberal Turn: How Things Went Wrong

Issue Date July 2012
Volume 23
Issue 3
Page Numbers 132-37
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Students of the Central and Eastern Europe long saw Hungary as a leading post-1989 “success story”—both because the country’s exit from communism was smoothly negotiated and because it appeared to have consolidated its democracy so quickly. Yet the “electoral revolution” unleashed by Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party following its April 2010 parliamentary-election victory (including the adoption of a new constitution and passage of some 350 bills that have profoundly affected the very foundations of the rule of law) has scholars of democratization in the region now considering the possibility of a transition away from democracy.