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Viktor Orbáns Säulen der Macht
Viktor Orbán’s Pillars of Power

Author(s): Gregor Mayer
Subject(s): Governance, Government/Political systems, Electoral systems, Inter-Ethnic Relations
Published by: Südosteuropa Gesellschaft e.V.
Keywords: Hungary; abuse of power;

Summary/Abstract: For seven years, the right-wing populist Viktor Orbán has been ruling Hungary. According to analysts and watch-dogs, he established a system of semi-authoritarian governance, from which checks and balances have been widely eliminated. Orbán’s power is based on three main pillars: the complete capture of the state apparatus and its institutions; the hegemony over public discourse, made possible by intervening into media legislation and markets as well as by establishing control over media-channels with a relevant reach and audience. Finally, by nurturing, supporting and empowering oligarchs who are dependent on him. The system seems to be strongly entrenched as there is no perspective for seeing Orbán and his Fidesz-party voted out of power in upcoming elections. During the European refugee crisis of 2015, Orbán also established himself as a major player on the European stage, offering himself as a role-model for a hard-line approach towards refugees and asylum-seekers. On the same hand, Orbán aligned himself with Putin’s Russia like no other European leader. As the election of the populist president Donald Trump in the US promised even more glory for Orbán, this may also backfire. Under pressure for his own long-standing and murky relations with the Putin state, Trump might rather show Orbán the cold shoulder.Together with a relaxation of the European refugee issue and the possible consolidation of Europe’s mainstream political forces, this could mean that Orbán’s agenda-setting capacity on the European stage will shrink.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 18-29
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: German