Hungary and Poland’s anti-democratic turn: a new era or more of the same?

Jan Rovny is an Assistant Professor in Political Science at the CEE and LIEPP Jan-Rovnyat Sciences Po, Paris, and at CERGU at the University of Gothenburg. His research concentrates on political competition in Europe with the aim of uncovering the ideological conflict lines in different countries. He is also one of the principal investigators of the Chapel Hill Expert Survey. He has published in World Politics, Party Politics, European Union Politics, European Political Science Review, East European Politics and Societies and elsewhere.

Cet article a été publié à l’origine sur le site LSE le 2 mars 2016 

Reforms affecting the independence of courts and the media in Hungary and Poland have received significant attention in recent months. But to what extent do these developments constitute a genuine shift in the nature of Hungarian and Polish politics? Jan Rovny writes that while both countries have witnessed a rise in support for parties with anti-democratic tendencies, the dynamics of party competition remain consistent with the liberal-conservative political divide that has characterised the politics of these countries since the fall of communism.

Hungary and Poland have recently witnessed constitutional changes that have limited the independence of courts and the media. As these developments attract international attention, they beg the question of whether the politics of eastern Europe is being fundamentally altered, and the democratic achievements of the region reversed. My research suggests that while the recent changes in Hungary and Poland are a cause for concern, they do not represent a departure from traditionally entrenched contests within these societies. Instead, the current politics of Hungary and Poland continue to replicate, and even deepen, historical political divides. Lire la suite 

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