CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

In One's Own Right: Party Competition and Ideological Control in Post-Communist Hungary and Poland

Jeremy Golant, University of Pennsylvania

Division: Social Sciences

Dept/Program: Political Science

Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research

Mentor(s): Mitchell Orenstein

Date of this Version: 19 June 2018

 

Originally published May 2017. Updated version submitted June 2018.

Abstract

In their 1997 paper “Are Transitions Transitory?”, Milada Vachudova and Timothy Snyder predicted that the ethnically homogenous states of post-communist Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) would experience an uncomplicated democratic transition. At once the scholars predicted that three other states, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia, would fail to democratize, particularly because they were not characterized by these three factors. The key differentiating factor in the paper, and in turn what the three factors were expected to correlate with, was the degree of ethnic nationalism in each state’s respective politics. By contrast, the situation in 2017 looks decidedly different. Hungary under Viktor Orbán has sunk to Romania- and Bulgaria- levels of democracy, and Poland’s recent re-election of the populist Law and Justice (PiS) party seems to signal the emergence of an analogous trend in that state. Further, both of these parties have at once mobilized ethnic nationalist rhetoric in order to legitimize their own political ambitions. The aim of this paper, then, is to answer two questions relating to Vachudova and Snyder’s 1997 formulations. The first question concerns why, contrary to the expectations of these scholars, Hungary and Poland have seen the emergence of ethnic nationalist politics. The second question concerns why Hungary, though seemingly identical to Poland in its initial democratic conditions, has seen the mobilization of ethnic nationalism to a far more extreme and anti-democratic degree.

Discipline(s)

Comparative Politics | International Relations

Suggested Citation

Golant, Jeremy, "In One's Own Right: Party Competition and Ideological Control in Post-Communist Hungary and Poland" 19 June 2018. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania, https://repository.upenn.edu/curej/218.

Date Posted: 28 June 2018

 

Share

 
 

Creative Commons License Articles in CUREJ are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.