Academic freedom in Hungary’s authoritarian state capitalism

FPC Research Fellow Dr Gabor Scheiring writes in this recent article that new authoritarian leaders find it hard to tolerate independent voices, and academic freedom is no different. After Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán announced the year of the ‘culture war’, the government effectively banished Central European University from Budapest. The prestigious research institutes of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences are next in line. The pretext is the need for boosting innovation. However, the truth is that governmental policies under Hungary’s authoritarian state capitalism go against knowledge and innovation, and lock the country into an economy specialised in low value-added precarious production. After summarising recent developments on academic freedom, the article puts these into the context of Hungary’s economic model. Dr Gabor Scheiring argues that if this strategy is successful, these attempts will contribute to cementing Orbán’s power and increase the stability of Hungary’s variant of authoritarian state capitalism.

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