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DetailsThis timely book examines far-right politics in Hungary—but its relevance points much beyond Hungary. With its two main players, the radical right Jobbik and populist right Fidesz, it is an essentially Eastern European, European, and global phenomenon. Jobbik and Fidesz, political parties with a populist, nativist, authoritarian approach, Eastern and pro-Russian orientation, and strong anti-Western stance, are on the one hand products of the problematic transformation period that is typical for post-communist countries. But they are products of a “populist Zeitgeist” in the West as well, with declining trust in representative democratic and supranational institutions, politicians, experts, and the mainstream media. The rise of politicians such as Nigel Farage in the UK, Marine Le Pen in France, Norbert Hofer in Austria, and, most notably, Donald Trump in the US are clear indications of this trend. In this book, the story of Jobbik (and Fidesz), contemporary players of the Hungarian radical right scene, are not treated as separate case studies, but as representatives of broader international political trends. Far-right parties such as Jobbik (and increasingly Fidesz) are not pathologic and extraordinary, but exaggerated, seemingly pathological manifestations of normal, mainstream politics. The radical right is not the opposite and denial of the mainstream, but the sharp caricature of the changing national, and often international mainstream.
About the authorPéter Krekó, PhD., is a Fulbright visiting professor at the Central Eurasian Studies Department and a faculty member at the Russian and Eastern European Institute at Indiana University, Bloomington. He served as director of the Political Capital Institute, a Budapest-based think-tank, for five years. In Budapest, Dr. Krekó was an associate professor at Eötvös Loránd University of Science in Budapest, teaching courses on social and political psychology. He is the author of several academic articles and analyses on the contemporary far right in Europe and member of the presidency of the Hungarian Political Science Association and of the pool of experts of the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre for Excellence. He is a regular commentator in the leading international media on Russian soft power, populist, and far-right movements in Europe, and Central Eastern European political affairs. He has published articles in Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, and the Financial Times. He holds a PhD and MA in psychology and an MA in political science. He wrote his PhD thesis on the political psychology of conspiracy theories.
Attila Juhász, currently the Director of the Political Capital Institute, Budapest, holds an MA in Political Science and is a PhD candidate at the Doctoral School of Sociology and Welfare, an interdisciplinary research programme at Eötvös Lóránd University, Faculty of Social Sciences (Budapest). He is a lecturer at Pannon University, Veszprém, Hungary. He is an expert on radicalism and extremism, researching mostly radical and extremist political tendencies after the fall of communism in Hungary, but also focusing on international migration and migration policies after 1945 (especially in the European Union). In addition, he has worked on the Political Capital Institute’s Demand for Right-Wing Extremism Index (DEREX), which measures and compares people’s predisposition to far-right politics in 32 countries using data from the European Social Survey.