1st Edition

Civic and Uncivic Values in Hungary Value Transformation, Politics, and Religion

Edited By Sabrina P. Ramet, László Kürti Copyright 2025
    264 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers an analysis of values in Hungary. 

    Following the proposition that civic values are crucial to liberal democracy and conducive to international peace, this book examines the extent to which these values are respected and practised in a number of policy spheres, with chapters devoted to the political system, the media, religion, relations with the European Union, history textbooks, cinema, Roma, and the attitudes of Hungarian women voters.  The book also charts how, under Prime Minister Orbán, Hungary has gravitated away from the civic values spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Charter of the European Union.

    This book will prove to be of great use to scholars and students of democracy, East Central Europe, minorities, Hungarian contemporary history and politics, civic culture, gender studies, nationalism, human rights and more broadly the social sciences.

    1. Civic values and the vulnerability of an illiberal political order: The case of Hungary

    Sabrina P. Ramet

    Part 1: The System

    2. Politics in Hungary: Two critical junctures

    András Bozóki and István Benedek

    3. The Hungarian media system: Unequal worlds

    Attila Bátorfy

    Part 2: Values

    4. Hungarian civic values in a European context

    Kristen Ringdal

    5. EU rule-of-law-conditionality and uncivic Hungary: Can you buy the rule of law?

    Beáta Bakó

    6. Illiberalism and popular religion in Hungary: State Christianity

    László Kürti

    7. Anti-minority prejudice in Hungary: Gypsy business - Roma politics

    László Kürti

    8. Orbán and Vučić: From disparate beginnings to shared values

    Vujo Ilić

    9. Reconstructionist religions in Hungary: In the shadow of threats

    Réka Szilárdi

    Part 3: Culture, Gender and History Textbooks

    10. Representations of post-Communist illiberalism in Coyote: Civic values in an illiberal state?

    György Kalmár

    11. Polarized society in an illiberal polypore state: Values and attitudes among Hungarian women voters

    Balázs Böcskei and Andrea Petö

    12. Changing interpretations in history teaching and history textbooks

    Csaba Fazekas

    Part 4: Conclusion

    13. The wild wild East (A Conclusion)

    Sabrina P. Ramet


    Sabrina P. Ramet is a Professor Emerita at the Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU), Norway. 

    László Kürti is a Professor at the Institute of Applied Social Sciences, University of Miskolc, Hungary.

    “Once a leading light of anti-communist liberalism in the late 1980s, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán has since become known, even admired in some quarters, for systematically undoing domestic checks and balances, and for dissension in the EU and NATO, and over Western support for Ukraine. This erudite, readable collection gives insights on contemporary Hungary, and with immediate relevance for understanding political phenomena worldwide. Those who know Hungary and those who do not will both gain a great deal.”

    Rick Fawn, Professor of International Studies, University of St Andrews, UK, and author of Castle on a Hill: The Visegrad Group, Regionalism, and the Remaking of Europe (2024).

    "Sabrina Ramet and László Kürti invited scholars to this book from very different fields of social science to deep-drill into the apparently homogeneous texture of the Hungarian society under Orbán's rule. Their choices proved successful. Human rights and their increasingly deplorable situation are revealed in different dimensions, as Orbán's authoritarian system gradually develops and infiltrates into all segments of society. Systemic controversies are analyzed in high-quality studies, be they from a philosophical, legal, institutional, or political science approach on political developments, gender, religion, minority groups, or even individual history."

    Maria Csanádi, Professor Emerita, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary, and principal author of Dynamics of an Authoritarian System: Hungary, 2010-2021 (2022).