Form of Fear in Transition in Central Europe Cover Image

A félelem formái a tranzíció időszakában közép-európában / Forme straha u periodu tranzicije u Centralnoj Evropi
Form of Fear in Transition in Central Europe

Author(s): Attila Pató
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Centar za multikulturalnost
Keywords: forms of fear; democratic transition; Central-Europe; tradition; political

Summary/Abstract: Article in Hungarian and Serbian The presentation deals with the specific role the fear in its various forms played in the period of democratic transition in Central-Europe. The following points are highlighted: the transition imposed the question of legitimate power for the new political elite. In the course of the events, some topics– often contextualized in historic perspectives - gained a powerful emphasis. First of all, the age-old question of nation and nation-state had to be answered: however, the answer had to be in harmony with the democratic paradigm. Two basic, but oft en contradicting concern of modernity: nation and democracy. There was another problem however that was also influencing the discourse on legitimate power: the severe social issues. The presentation argues that the forms of fear served to fill the gap between requirements and achievements of the actual needs of legitimation for the political elite. Even if fear was to be excluded after totalitarian experience, there was one form that was regarded as legitimate: the fear to lose the newly achieved nation and democracy. Generally, the political elite is split to defenders of democracy and defenders of the nation – where the threat is first of all represented by the other political side. There are however, as the Hungarian political theoretician, Bibó István pointed out, rather old tradition in Central-Europe of discourse on fear – as explained in his theory of political histery. Thus, the point is, that the political elite tends to overcome the «legitimacy-gap» by emphasing all the «threat factors». Th is way there are two major consequences dealt with in here. First, the civic society is trapped in the discourse motivated by the political elite. Second, minorities are oft en regarded as the target of such discourses, thus left with no means for a true democratic solution. In this regard, the enlargement of European Union faces challenges of unsolved questions of the former period of democratic transition.

  • Issue Year: VII/2007
  • Issue No: 13
  • Page Range: 72-100
  • Page Count: 29
  • Language: Hungarian