Is there a demand for autocracy in Europe? The publication of Miklós Rosta and László Tóth, associate professors of the Department of Comparative and Institutional Economics, was published in Public Choice about the comparative examination of the attitude of Hungarian and Italian university students related to the values of liberal democracy.
The strengthening of both right-wing and left-wing populist parties can be observed in the European Union, while in Central and Eastern Europe autocracies appeared and started to stabilize. Italy and Hungary are two noteworthy examples for these processes.
Italy is the only country in Western Europe, where a coalition consisting of purely populist parties won the election, while in the European Union Hungary is the most mature autocracy.
With the help of a survey conducted by them, the authors have examined the preferences of Hungarian and Italian students related to the values of liberal democracy. They were looking for answers to the following questions: is there a significant difference between the ratio of Hungarian and Italian students, who identify themselves with the values of liberal democracy, and which values of liberal democracy do they consider as protected values.
Based on their results the authors claim that the students of both countries are more likely to support the liberal democratic values, than either the left-wing, or the right-wing populist values, even if the ratios within the two groups differ significantly. They found, that the Italian students stick stronger to liberal democratic values, while the Hungarians are more open to left-wing and right-wing populism.
Their results confirm that because of the values carried by many in Hungary, the conditions are favourable for the development of a sustainable autocracy, while in Italy the demand for such a regime is much weaker.
Miklós Rosta, Head of Department, Associate Professor at the Department of Comparative and Institutional Economics, is the head of the Corvinus Central Asia Research Centre. His research interests are: institutional economics, political economics and public management science. He is a columnist of the Economic Review. He has articles published in journals like Administration & Society, International Studies of Management and Organization, Society & Economy and Public Choice. Innovation, adaptation and imitation. He has an independent monograph published under the title of new public service management. In 2019 he won a Bolyai Scholarship.
Dr. László Tóth is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Economy and Public Policy, Department of Comparative and Institutional Economy of the Institute of Economy and Public Policy at the Corvinus University of Budapest. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the United Kingdom, and earned his PhD at the University of Szeged with a specialisation in economic psychology. His research areas are related to the frontiers of behavioural economics and economic psychology. His work, through different researcher and lecturer positions, has been connecting him to Corvinus for nearly two decades.