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Photo: “Évértékelő 2020 (5)“, by Elekes Andor licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Hue modified from the original

Bonet, Lluis, and Mariano Martín Zamorano. “Cultural policies in illiberal democracies: a conceptual framework based on the Polish and Hungarian governing experiences.” International Journal of Cultural Policy (2020): 1-15.


Different governments in Europe are advancing corporatist mechanisms to foster a homogenizing and conservative understanding of culture. Illiberal practices framed within these policies include a delegated censorship and several measures based on xenophobic claims. Despite the importance of this phenomenon, the available literature on cultural policies has not adequately addressed it so far. This article proposes a conceptual framework to distinguish these illiberal cultural policies from the ones framed by liberal democracies on one hand and totalitarian regimes on the other end. This conceptual scheme is developed through a qualitative methodology based on a thorough review of the relevant literature currently available, a series of semi-structured interviews with relevant actors and a comparative analysis of the cultural policies developed by the ‘populist radical right’ governments in Poland and Hungary.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.