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Nature of autocratization processes: case study on Poland and Hungary

“Bending and breaking”—this is what happens when populism and nativism take over politics as they did in Poland and Hungary. How do the illiberal PiS (Law and Justice) and Fidesz governments dismantle the liberal-democratic order in both countries, and what are the possible consequences of these actions? Research conducted by Professor Ben Stanley from the SWPS University’s Center for the Study of Democracy answers these questions. Read more about it.

#autorcatization processes #autocracy #populism #nativism #politics #Poland #Hungary

What we researched:

  • The nature, scope, and consequences of autocratization processes in Poland and Hungary as well as the impact populism and nativism have on those processes.

How we did it:

  • Authors of the study argued that illiberal changes are ideologically founded, and identified how both populism and nativism figure in the policymaking of illiberals in power. Next, they showed how these practices emerge from a common “illiberal playbook”. Finally, they distinguished between different rationales and gradations of illiberal policymaking and assessed their implications for the rule of law, executive power, and civil rights and freedoms.

Why is it important:

  • Researchers conclude that there is no single path to illiberal democracy. Illiberals in power have a common set of goals concerning how they seek to change the political system and its institutions from the inside, but objective conditions such as the size of their majorities, the strength of the opposition, and the capacity of institutions to resist colonization and subversion mandate varying strategies.

We... elaborate on the notion that illiberal governments are using legalism to kill liberalism.