Friday 3 June 2022

COVID-19 and Emergency Measures in Hungary (CEPSA, 2-3 June 2022, Bled, Slovenia)

I have appeared at 26th Annual Central European Political Science Association (CEPSA) "Democracy after coronavirus: facing new political reality" Conference 2-3 June, Bled, Slovenia. My lecture was about the "COVID-19 and Emergency Measures in Hungary". The program is available from here.

This paper examines how the authoritarian populist government of Hungary introduced extraordinary measures upon the case of COVID-19. After the migration crisis of 2015, the Orbán regime applied several kinds of overlapped state of exception (emergency caused by mass immigration, coronavirus-related state of exception, health crisis emergency). On the one hand, the character of the introduced exceptional government measures showed clearly nationalist attributes. On the other hand, it is also clear that the measures introduced are mixed with the “embedded neoliberalism” of the Orbán regime. The outbreak of the pandemic showed that the nationalism of the Orbán regime can only be examined in a multidimensional framework, as the nationalist discourse reinforced during the COIVD-19 was clearly coupled with the government's primary support for nationalist bourgeoise and international capital rather than Hungarian workers. In other words, discursive nationalism was not coupled with a nationalist economic policy. This mixing of nationalism and neoliberalism has certainly been facilitated and supported by an exceptional legal and political order. This paper seeks to deeply investigate how the coronavirus-related nationalism coupled with the semi-peripherical capitalism of the Orbán-regime in the framework of the exceptional measures.

This lecture is a part of my research project "The State of Emergency in the Era of Global Ecological and Pandemic Crisis" (financed by National Research, Development and Innovation Office Postdoctoral Excellence Programme of Hungary, ID-number: 139007, hosting institution: ELTE Faculty of Law). More details on this project: