Skip to main content

Article Category

News

Article available in the folowing languages:

Orbán’s Handling of the Coronavirus Shows How Populists Exercise Power

Hungary’s leader Viktor Orbán appealed to fears in society to shape public opinion and bolster leadership during the pandemic.

Society

Hungary’s leader Viktor Orbán appealed to fears in society to shape public opinion and bolster leadership during the pandemic. The parliament passed a controversial bill that allowed Orbán to rule by decree with minor oversight. Populist actors tend to use swift but authoritative executive action to handle crises. The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic shows how political leaders have exploited crisis contexts to bolster leadership and, when in government, gain more power. That is the conclusion of a new article by Professor in International Politics Umut Korkut, DEMOS co-investigator at Glasgow Caledonian University. The publication was featured in the Public Jurist, a student-led magazine at the University of Hong Kong, in an issue dedicated to the law and politics of Orban’s “illiberal democracy” in Hungary. The article analyses how Orbán has exploited three major crises that hit the EU in the past years—the financial crisis of 2008, the migration crisis of 2015, and the coronavirus pandemic this year—to “establish a knowledge-regime that requires swift but authoritative executive action”, professor Korkut writes. Matteo Salvini in Italy and Marine Le Pen in France became central actors of European politics by adopting similar strategies during the migration crisis. Read more on the DEMOS website: https://demos-h2020.eu/en/orbans-handling-of-the-coronavirus-shows-how-populists-exercise-power About DEMOS DEMOS — Democratic Efficacy and the Varieties of Populism in Europe — is a three-year collaborative research project with 15 consortium members across Europe. DEMOS is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 framework programme. The project, which kicked off in December 2018, has two chief objectives: better understand populism by investigating under-researched trends in existing scientific literature and contribute to addressing the challenge of populism through innovative and action research. Read more about DEMOS on our website: https://demos-h2020.eu/en/about-demos

Keywords

Hungary, Viktor Orban, Policy, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Populism

Related articles