Post-Communist Mafia State: The Case of Hungary

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Central European University Press, 10 feb. 2016 - 336 pagini
In an article in 2001 the author analyzed the way Fidesz, the party on government for the first time then, was eliminating the institutional system of the rule of law. At that time, many readers doubted the legitimacy of the new approach, whose key categories were the 'organized over-world', the 'state employing mafia methods' and the 'adopted political family'. Critics considered these categories metaphors rather than elements of a coherent conceptual framework. Ten years later Fidesz won a two-third majority in Parliament at the 2010 elections: the institutional obstacles of exerting power were thus largely removed. Just like the party, the state itself was placed under the control of a single individual, who since then has applied the techniques used within his party to enforce submission and obedience onto society as a whole. While in many post-communist systems a segment of the party and secret service became the elite in possession of not only political power but also of wealth, Fidesz, as a late-coming new political predator, was able to occupy this position through an aggressive change of elite. The actions of the post-communist mafia state model are led by the logic of power and wealth concentration in the hands of the clan. But while the classical mafia channeled wealth and economic players into its spheres of interest by means of direct coercion, the mafia state does the same by means of parliamentary legislation, legal prosecution, tax authority, police forces and secret service. The new conceptual framework is important and timely not only for Hungary, but also for other post-communist countries subjected to autocratic rules.

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Pagini selectate


1 The system we live under
2 The disintegration of the Third Hungarian Republic in 2010
from the functional disorders of democracy to a critique of the system
4 Definition of the postcommunist mafia state
a subtype of autocratic regimes
6 The legitimacy deficit faced by the mafia state and the means to overcome it
the ideological arsenal
8 The Criminal State
9 Pyramid schemesthe limits of the mafia state
List of accompanying studies
Former publications
Index of Names
Back cover
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Despre autor (2016)

Bálint Magyar is Research Fellow at CEU Democracy Institute, working on the subject of patronalism in post-communist countries. He was a member of the Hungarian Parliament (1990-2010). As a Minister of Education (1996-1998; 2002-2006) he initiated and carried out reforms in public and higher education.

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