Building a Democratic Market Society in Hungary

Abstract

Hungary’s ability to become an internationally integrated democratic market society by 2000 was facilitated by its point of departure on this path: politically liberalized reform-socialism. But other factors were crucial as well, such as the lack of violence, the economic and political behavior of transformation’s winners and losers, and eu policies. The high fiscal cost of Hungary’s foreign-led modernization inevitably creates tensions, but unlike under communism, Hungarians now have a mechanism to express their concerns, by electing a new government. A trial-and-error pattern of political success has thus been established that is likely to remain an inherent feature of its politics.

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