Authoritarian Populism, Environmentalism and Exceptional Governance in HungaryAttila Antal
Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
This paper analyzes how the incumbent authoritarian populist Orbán government started to navigate itself from an anti-climate to a conservative green position. First, the theoretical background of environmentalism and democracy/autocracy will be investigated. It is to say that the relationship between democracy and the environment is quite contradictory, although democracy has a demonstrable effect on the quality of the environment and sustainability, it is not worth absolutizing. That is why we should put an emphasis on the environmental approach of authoritarian regimes, here as a case study of the Hungarian regime. From 2010, the Orbán regime elaborated an ambiguous attitude toward the environment and green politics; on the on hand, it was characterized by climate denialism and demolition of environmental institutions, on the other hand, the super-majority behind the regime accepted the Fundamental Law with several green elements. In the second half of 2019 and early 2020, the regime started to create a new conservative green agenda. This authoritarian populist greening is not based on eco-authoritarian traditions. This paper challenges the notion that authoritarian populist actors are hostile to environmental policies. The Orbán regime proved adaptive in the case of the climate emergency and is about to elaborate its own climate agenda. At the same time, the regime is unable to face the real nature of the climate and ecological emergencies. The crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been used by the regime to rule by decree based on exceptional powers. In fact, the regime relied on exceptional governance before the COVID-19 crisis, ever since the migration crisis of 2015. The authoritarian populist regime recognized the political opportunities of exceptional governance in terms of overlapping crises and that is why it is characterized by authoritarian climate populism.
Authoritarian Populism; Climate and Ecological Emergency; COVID-19; Orbán Regime; State of Exception; Exceptional Measures; Green Conservativism
Populism vs. Demagogism: What if Anti-populists are the Real Demagogues?Francesco Melito
Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
As the partisan meaning attached to ‘populism’ has provided this word with a negative stigma used to demonize alternative discourses, this article seeks to fill two gaps in the populist literature. First, it aims at retrieving the term ‘populism’ from a spurious understanding and reintroducing a forgotten word, which has become a synonym of populism and contributed to its negative aura: demagogy. Populism (bottom-up) and demagogy (top-down) are defined as opposite terms. While this distinction could be easily grasped from their etymological roots, it takes on a different dimension when seen from a hegemonic perspective. Second, elaborating on Gramsci and Laclau’s theory, it provides a theoretical basis for the study of anti-populism. Like populism, anti-populism results from a dislocatory experience as it is (negatively) defined by its populist antagonist. Besides considering its negative dimension, the article discusses the positivization of the anti-populist discourse, which resides in the (re)production of broken normality. Demagogism is a weapon in the hegemonic struggle between different discourses that aims to restore mainstream common sense (normality) against a counter-hegemonic project (populism). Finally, the article suggests that beyond anti-populism, demagogism, understood as a normalizing practice, could potentially be applied in the empirical analysis of neo-traditionalist discourses.
populism; anti-populism; demagogy; hegemony, discourse
Organized Crime in Albania: A Path Dependence PerspectiveGeri Pilaca and Alban Nako
Epoka University, Tirana, Albania
Epoka University, Tirana, Albania
Albanian organized crime has gained attention from the media and academia due to its significant role in international criminal world. Many studies have showcased Albanian criminal groups’ main characteristics and what makes them stand out. Nevertheless, such studies lack a theoretical application that binds the findings and provides an extensive panorama of Albanian organized crime development. Implying that the formation of Albanian organized crime is not a coincidence but rather an ongoing process, this study refers to path dependence theory to explain such an occurrence. Traditionally, the study of path dependence has focused on explaining how standards or rules become reinforced and determinant in a set environment by passing through three sequential stages. Consequently, the study uses a three-phase model to analyze Albanian organized crime from its inception to its latest stage.
Albania; organized crime; path dependence; development; legacies
Electoral Performance of New Political Parties in Ukraine: The Context of Electoral Volatility at the Parliamentary Level (1998–2019)Anatoliy Romanyuk and Vitaliy Lytvyn
Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Ukraine
Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Ukraine
This article is devoted to study and comparative analysis of the features and levels of support for new political parties during parliamentary elections in Ukraine, in particular the period 1998–2019. With this in mind, mainly based on the calculations of the indices of overall electoral volatility, intra-system electoral volatility and extra-system electoral volatility, we analyze the parameters of changes in electoral support (by voters) for political parties, in particular new ones, during the 1998–2019 parliamentary elections in Ukraine. In addition, we correlate overall, intra-system and extra-system electoral volatility, and present the correlation of overall electoral volatility in the sample of all political parties as the subjects of electoral processes in Ukraine and political parties elected to the national parliament (the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine). As a result, the study outlines two clusters of extra-system electoral volatility, which show the highest level of similarity, and calculates the dependence of the level of electoral volatility and stability of the party system in Ukraine. With this background, we conclude that electoral volatility in Ukraine is largely determined by the effect of party affiliation or desire to belong to the government or opposition, and is regulated by the special context of identity politics in this country.
political parties; new political parties; parliamentary elections; electoral volatility; Ukraine
Paternalism: A Flawed Basis for Liberty-limiting Policies? Arguments against Benevolent CoercionPeter Wedekind
Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
This article discusses coercive paternalism, a concept of liberty-limitations that has gained significant attention in recent decades. In opposition to the libertarian type of paternalism proposed by the well-known ‘Nudgers’ Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein (2008), Sarah Conly (2013) advocates coercive interventions in Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism. Her influential work serves as a basis for scrutinizing the validity of coercive paternalism’s presuppositions as well as the internal coherence of the concept. Following the fundamental groundwork of especially Joel Feinberg and Gerald Dworkin, arguments against coercive paternalism are evaluated. They include the reciprocal (rather than unilateral) relationship between the ‘present self’ and the ‘future self’ in the paternalist’s account, the questionable legitimacy of punishment for self-harming behaviour and of coercion in general, the challenges of so-called ‘perfectionism’ and slippery-slopes, as well as a misconception about the alleged lack of rationality that serves as a justification for coercive paternalism. The article concludes by suggesting that – given the flaws of the concept – it may be reasonable to favour soft paternalism à la John Stuart Mill based on the harm principle over Conly’s proposal for a more extensive form of coercive paternalism.
autonomy; benevolence; coercion; harm-principle; liberalism; liberty-limitations; paternalism; perfectionism; punishment; rationality
Tim Haughton and Kevin Deegan-Krause: The New Party Challenge: Changing Cycles of Party Birth and Death in Central Europe and BeyondVít Hloušek
Tim Haughton and Kevin Deegan-Krause: THE NEW PARTY CHALLENGE: CHANGING CYCLES OF PARTY BIRTH AND DEATH IN CENTRAL EUROPE AND BEYOND. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2020. 290 pages.