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Elites in Hard Times: The Hungarian Case in Comparative Conceptual Framework

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For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

AbstractHungary was seriously hit by the financial crisis of 2008. This article investigates how the Hungarian governing elites exploit the space of maneuvering in crisis management. One way to mitigate anti-government mass sentiments is the rhetoric of national self-defense. Besides these ideological tools, fundamental changes in the institutional setting and elite composition are on the agenda in Hungary. How these government responses can be analyzed by tools of the new elite paradigm and by concepts of comparative political institutionalism like majoritarian vs. consensual democracy, or simulated democracy and competitive authoritarianism are the major questions touched upon in the paper. We test the applicability of these concepts on the Hungarian political scene and investigate the efficiency of elites’ efforts concerning uncertainty reduction.

Affiliations: 1: Corvinus University of


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