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Photo: “Budapest: Hungarian Parliament“, by Jorge Franganillo licensed under CC BY 2.0. Hue modified from the original.

Bard, Petra, Anita Koncsik, and Zsolt Kortvelyesi. “Tactics Against Criticism of Autocratization-The Hungarian Government and the EU’s Prolonged Toleration.” (2022).


This paper seeks to expose and take inventory of the different arguments that have been used to shield developments in Hungary from European criticism, sometimes in the form of diverting international attention from crucial aspects of developments in Hungary. Scholars and decision-makers fall prey to illiberal tactics of misusing argument in the rule of law debate. It is high time to have an inventory of such arguments, exposing the inconsistencies and often outright falsehoods; also because it is these tactics that can explain, in part, the successful coexistence of EU membership, with its benefits like continued money transfers and mutual recognition of judgments, and serious deviations from common core values.

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.