Monday 3 April 2023

The Political Economy of Emergency Governance in Hungary (transform! conference, 3-4 April, 2023)

I am participating at “100 Shades of the EU: The Political Economy of the EU Peripheries between Pandemic and War” conference organised by transform! 3-4t April, 2023 in Trieste (Italy). I will present a sub-topic of my postdoctoral research on "The State of Emergency in the Era of Global Ecological and Pandemic Crisis". I will speak about The Political Economy of Emergency Governance in Hungary. 

The authoritarian populist right-wing has rapidly reborn in the field of authoritarian state and emergency governance, moreover the COVID-19 crisis gave a new rise this phenomenon. The failures of liberal democracy opened the way of authoritarian populist right-wing populism in semi-peripheral Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), which on the one hand remained integrated into the neoliberal capitalism and on the other hand dismantled the legal basis of liberal constitutionalism. Investigating the CEE authoritarian populist regimes (especially Hungary), it has been argued that Hungarian authoritarian populism and its regional followers established this politics from the migration crisis of 2015 on the permanent state of exception and extraordinary governance measures. The COVID-19 crisis offered a new opportunity to maintain and extend the emergency measures. Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister found the way to capitalize the pandemic crisis and introduced the overlapping exceptional measures. Relying on the political theoretical concept of exceptional governance, it has been argued and analysed in this paper that the new forms of authoritarianism in CEE are based on the extraordinary measures. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, the dependence of the semi-peripheral CEE economic and political regimes on the European capitalist centre was already very significant. In this paper, I will examine the political economy concept of governance by exceptional measures in the Orbán regime. I argue that the semi-peripheral Orbán regime, serving global capitalism, has made Hungarian society even more vulnerable by extraordinary measures to the global and national capitalist class than before (for instance the new Labour Code, de facto abolition of the possibility of legal strikes).

The program of the event can be found here.