: Constitutional Identity? The Hungarian Model of Illiberal Democracy

Andris L. Pap

By connecting to ongoing scholarly discussions on conceptualizing “illiberal democracy” and analyzing the phenomenon of anti-democratic backlash in post-2010 Hungary, this chapter seeks to provide a description and an analysis of the “Hungarian model of illiberal democracy.” Throughout this text, “illiberal” is understood as a privative prefix, referring to a constitutional and political condition that creates a unique middle ground between a constitutional democracy and an autocracy. It is argued that the “Hungarian illiberal democracy” is neither a construct ofconstitutional philosophy, nor a principle for constitutional design, nor is it characteristically illiberal within the interpretative framework of political theory. Rather, it is a tool to channel, define, and dominate general political discourse and to provide a discursive framework for political identification and ideologically biased, yet divergent and ad hoc legislation. It is argued that “illiberalism” is actually a form of constitutional identity, the discursive framework of this new political community that

A.L. Pap (*)

Department for the Study of Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre for Social Sciences at the Institute for Legal Studies, Budapest, Hungary

Slovak Academy of Sciences Institute for Sociology, Bratislava, Slovakia e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

© The Author(s) 2017

Fish, Gill, Petrovic (eds.), A Quarter Century of Post-Communism Assessed, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-43437-7_7

the Orban-regime claims to have established. The morphosis of this Hungarian model for illiberal democracy manifests itself normatively through value preferences expressed in the new constitution, as well as in a quasi-normative political declaration that serves as a manifesto for the new political community it envisages.

 
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