Brave New Hungary. Mapping the “System of National Cooperation”

Brave New Hungaryfocuses on the rise of a “brave new” anti-liberal regime led by Viktor Orbán who made a decisive contribution to the transformation of a poorly managed liberal democracy to a well-organized authoritarian rule bordering on autocracy during the past decade. Emerging capitalism in post-1989 Hungary that once took pride in winning the Eastern European race for catching up with the West has evolved into a reclusive, statist, national-populist system reminding the observers of its communist and pre-communist predecessors. Going beyond the self-description of the Orbán regime that emphasizes its Christian-conservative and illiberal nature, the authors, leading experts of Hungarian politics, history, society, and economy, suggest new ways to comprehend the sharp decline of the rule of law in an EU member state. Their case studies cover crucial fields of the new authoritarian power, ranging from its historical roots and constitutional properties to media and social policies. The volume presents the Hungarian “System of National Cooperation” as a pervasive but in many respects improvised and vulnerable experiment in social engineering, rather than a set of mature and irreversible institutions. The originality of this dystopian “new world” does not stem from the transition to authoritarian control per se but its plurality of meanings. It can be seen as a simulacrum that shows different images to different viewers and perpetuates itself by its post-truth variability. Rather than pathologizing the current Hungarian regime as a result of a unique master plan designed by a cynical political entrepreneur, the authors show the transnational dynamic of backsliding – a warning for other countries that suffer from comparable deadlocks of liberal democracy.

With Contributions by:
Gábor Egry, Zsolt Enyedi, Gábor Halmai, Miklós Haraszti, Stephen Holmes, János
Köllo, János Mátyás Kovács, Ferenc Laczó, Bálint Magyar, Radoslaw Markowski, Silvia
Marton, Attila Melegh, Péter Mihályi, Virág Molnár, Jan-Werner Müller, Dorottya
Szikra, Balázs Trencsényi, Renáta Uitz, Balázs Váradi

Edited by János Mátyás Kovács and Balázs Trencsényi

Recent Publications

  • Automatisierung der Arbeit: Segen oder Fluch?

    Welche Auswirkungen werden Automatisierung und künstliche Intelligenz auf die Arbeit und das „gute Leben“ haben? In einer Reihe von Essays beleuchtet Robert Skidelsky die weitreichenden Implikationen der modernen Entwicklungen der Arbeit und skizziert Handlungsmöglichkeiten. Zwar trägt die Reduktion von Arbeitszeit wesentlich zu materiellem und spirituellem Wohlergehen bei, aber die von Keynes vorausgesagte 15-Stunden-Arbeitswoche ist auch …
    Read more

  • Und wie elektrische Schafe träumen wir: Humanität, Sexualität, Digitalität

    Digitale Wesen beuten unsere Tendenz zur Selbstüberschätzung aus, fördern unsere falschen Überzeugungen, instrumentalisieren unsere sexuellen Ängste, reduzieren uns auf isolierte Tiere. Timothy Snyder diskutiert die Gefahren, die aus der digitalen Welt erwachsen. Der Historiker Timothy Snyder nimmt den 1950 entwickelten Turing-Test des englischen Mathematikers und Logikers Alan Turing und eine etwa zeitgleich erschienene Kurzgeschichte von …
    Read more

  • Visual Thought in Russian Religious Philosophy: Pavel Florensky’s Theory of the Icon

    This book considers a movement within Russian religious philosophy known as “full unity” (vseedinstvo), with a focus on one of its main representatives, Pavel Florensky (1882–1937). Often referred to as “the Russian Leonardo,” Florensky was an important figure of the Russian religious renaissance around the beginning of the twentieth century. This book shows that his …
    Read more