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Who Is Viktor Orbán?

Viktor Orbán, a proud advocate for “illiberal democracy,” has become a favorite of the far-right by using the tools of democracy against democracy. His secret? Restructuring Hungary’s political playing field in favor of his ruling party, effectively locking in his power with the force of law.

The following Journal of Democracy essays examine Orbán’s strategies to gain and maintain power, while tearing up liberal democracy from the roots.

How Viktor Orbán Wins
The case of Hungary shows how autocrats can rig elections legally, using legislative majorities to change the law and neutralize the opposition at every turn, no matter what strategy they adopt.
Kim Lane Scheppele

Viktor Orbán’s Newest Tool for Crushing Dissent
He has created a new office with massive investigatory powers that are vaguely defined and leave everyone on edge. In other words, it’s classic Orbán.
Sándor Ésik

Explaining Eastern Europe: Orbán’s Laboratory of Illiberalism
Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party has used its two-thirds majority in parliament to change the constitution, erase checks and balances, and make the electoral system even more majoritarian.
Péter Krekó and Zsolt Enyedi

Illiberal Democracy and the Struggle on the Right
At present, the key struggle for the future of liberal democracy appears as if it will be unfolding among parties and thinkers on the right.
Marc F. Plattner

Explaining Eastern Europe: The Crisis of Liberalism
Thirty years ago in Central and Eastern Europe, belief in an open society and a sense of reasserted national and indeed European identity seemed to go hand-in-hand. But that was then.
Jacques Rupnik

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Image Credit: Gints Ivuskans/