Twenty-Five Sides of a Post-Communist Mafia State

Twenty-Five Sides of a Post-Communist Mafia State

Twenty-Five Sides of a Post-Communist Mafia State

Twenty-Five Sides of a Post-Communist Mafia State

Synopsis

The twenty-five essays accompany, illustrate, and underpin the conceptual framework elaborated in Bálint Magyar's Post-Communist Mafia State: The Case of Hungary (CEU Press-Noran Libra, 2016). Leading specialists analyze the manifestations of the current political, regime in Hungary from twenty-five angles. Topics discussed include the ideology, constitutional issues, social policy, the judiciary, foreign relations, nationalism, media, memory politics, corruption, civil society, education, culture and so on. Beyond the basic features of the economy, the domains of taxation, banking system, energy policies, and the agriculture are treated in dedicated studies. The essays are based on detailed empirical investigation about conditions in today's Hungary. They nevertheless contribute to the exploration of the characteristic features of post-communist authoritarian regimes, shared by an increasing number of countries in Europe and Central Asia.

Excerpt

“It is impossible to establish a personal relationship—never mind a policy— with a regime that has no name. If we are incapable of conceptually grasping our own reality, then we will become the prisoners of the reality of others” claims Bálint Magyar when providing reasons for the introduction of the concept of the post-communist mafia state to describe the nature and operations of the current political power structure in Hungary. Magyar—one of the editors of this volume and the author of one of its studies—first wrote about the first Fidesz government that was in power between 1998 and 2002 in a 2001 article titled “Hungarian Octopus: the Organized Surface World,” illustrating that government’s dismantling of the democratic institution system and its use of mafia methods in the pursuit of its political and economic interests.

In 2010 Viktor Orbán returned to power, this time backed by a twothirds majority in parliament. Orbán, the prime minister and leader of Fidesz, quickly announced the construction of the National System of Cooperation, which was in fact the arrangement of a post-communist mafia state as described by Magyar. the expression alludes to the environment from which the regime emerged, i.e., a process called “the regime change” through which in 1990 state-ownership monopoly and single-party dictatorship in Hungary was replaced by a Western-style, liberal democracy based on private property, a market economy, and parliamentary democracy. the mafia state has characterized the operations of the regime that developed under the Orbán governments. the essence of this is that in . . .

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