Visegrad Talk • Populism in Central Europe and Beyond: The Hungarian Case
October 26 @ 12:25 pm - 2:00 pm
Are we witnessing a populist momentum (Zeitgeist) worldwide? In Europe, especially in the Central European region, where former communist states have been successfully transformed to liberal democracies, we see the emergence of populist political forces as a significant tendency in the last decade. Hungary has received a special status in this process: the country has become the first member state of the European Union, where the national government led by Viktor Orbán started to deconstruct the constitutional order and the rule of law while representing a majoritarian concept of democracy and offering a new semi-authoritarian model to populist politicians across Europe. This lecture will examine the possibilities for European and Hungarian political elites and civil movements to block dangerous political entrepreneurs and (re)gain the support of their societies in a rapidly changing political and media environment.
Dr. István Hegedűs is the chairman of the Hungarian Europe Society, a Budapest-based NGO. His involvement in politics goes back to the very beginning of the Hungarian regime-change. In 1989 he participated at the national roundtable negotiations on the transition to democracy as a delegate of the opposition groups. He was a permanent member of the media committee during the talks. He became a liberal member of the first, freely elected Hungarian Parliament in 1990 and also served as the vice-chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Corvinus University of Budapest.
This talk is made possible by a University Studies Grant from the International Visegrad Fund. Presented in partnership with the UNC Center for European Studies and the Curriculum in Global Studies.