Bretter, Zoltán. “Comparative populism: Romania and Hungary.” Eastern Journal of European Studies 13, no. SI (2022): 183-206.
The paper aims to test the mechanism of autocratic populism (a term that will be used as a synonym for illiberal democracy) in Hungary and Romania. A mechanism could help to better explain the phenomenon of populism across different spatiotemporal settings in which it occurs, therefore it is suitable for a common understanding of populism. I am going to use a minimal definition of liberal democracy as well as authoritarian populism and compare Romania and Hungary along three major components of the mechanism: constitutionalism (the division of powers), the cultural construction of “the people” and the different conditions of the emergence of a charismatic personality. Investigating political processes will show why authoritarian populism or illiberal democracy has gained prominence in Hungary but has failed in Romania.