While the literature on the definition, features, and establishment of hybrid – between liberal democracy and dictatorship – regimes has been extensive, a gap existed about their internal dynamics. Professor at the Department of Comparative and Institutional Economics, Dóra Győrffy and external adjunct professor at the Institute of Economic and Public Policy, József Péter Martin developed a four-stage model of political cycles. Taking Hungary as a case study between 2010 and 2021, they traced changes in ideology (campaign narratives), input legitimacy (election process), governance (serving public good versus particularistic interests) and output legitimacy (economic performance and public opinion).
By using the model, Győrffy and Martin have observed inherent contradictions of the Hungarian hybrid regime between the initial promises and the real objectives of governance. The focus on creating loyal new owners in the economy, eroded the value of meritocracy and led to increasing corruption and a worsening governance performance. While the Orbán regime has achieved some important successes in the economy, it failed in position Hungary on a path of sustainable and inclusive development. This made the original positive mission for the country impossible to fulfill. Eventually, due to the downward spiral of increasing corruption and ideological degeneration, output and input legitimacy have been undermined, as shown by the changing composition of government supporters toward lower status.
The researchers have published their findings in Problems of Post-Communism.
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