Goulash democratie. De ontwikkeling van de Hongaarse democratie tussen 1989 en 2014
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In the light of the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán's praise for 'illiberal states', this thesis puts his statement into historical perspective by analysing the development of the Hungarian democracy between 1989 and 2014. This thesis' main focus is to see if an 'illiberal democracy', as described by political scientist Fareed Zakaria in 2003 has been established in contemporary Hungary. As previous research focussed mainly on Asian and Latin-American democracies, it aims to prove that 'illiberal democracies' share common characteristics such as weakly functioning democratic institutions, human rights violations, a lack of regard for press freedom and weak rule of law. Based on scholarly works, law reviews and international reports, the rule of law, press freedom and human rights are used as criteria in order to prove that the Hungarian democracy has become an 'illiberal democracy' and to explain how it was established. The main findings are that human rights, rule of law and press freedom all made positive developments in the Hungarian democracy, until 2004 when the Copenhagen criteria were met and Hungary became an EU member state. When the single most commonly shared goal in the political arena was met, political polarisation flourished. Dissatisfaction with democracy was boosted by the low level of faith in democratic values by Hungarian people, the leaking of the controversial Őszöd speech and the following riots, and the economic crisis in 2008. These factors added to the creation of a political climate in which the Fidesz party succeeded in presenting itself as the only viable political alternative, after which the party won a two-third majority in parliament during the 2010 elections. Fidesz used its majority to create a new political order, which had detrimental effects to human rights, rule of law and press freedom. Moreover, Fidesz was able to do so, because of the poor state of the Hungarian democracy before 2010. Countering the views of Zakaria and other critics, it is concluded that the Hungarian democracy should rather have been called a democracy with weakly functioning democratic institutions instead of a liberal democracy. After the 2010 elections, a Zakarian 'illiberal democracy' was founded. Current political developments and the conclusions of this thesis invite scholars to do research on the Polish democracy, as both democracies have developed mainly in parallel ways since 1989. Because both countries entered the European Union in the same year and received aid through the PHARE programme, the Polish democracy could prove to be an interesting case study following up on this thesis.