Hajnal, György (2014): Unorthodoxy at work: An assessment of Hungary’s post-2010 governance reforms

IRSPM XVIII. Annual Conference

April 9-11 2014

Ottawa, Canada



Unorthodoxy at work: An assessment of Hungary’s post-2010 governance reforms



Corvinus University of Budapest


Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Center for Social Research, Institute for Political Science

e-mail: gyorgy.hajnal@uni-corvinus.hu




Unorthodoxy is a term frequently used by the current Hungarian government to describe its approach to policy making and, more generally, to transforming governance. The “strong state” vision underlying their ambition has, since their getting into power in 2010, manifested in a lengthy series of sweeping institutional and policy reforms, and of domestic and international conflicts. Attention has so far been focused on the indeed radically changing institutional landscape, the constitutional reforms and their possibly adverse effects on such fundamental features of the polity as the functioning of checks and balances, individual rights, democracy and rule of law, and social inclusion. The broad ambition of this paper is to move beyond this institutional level of analysis and to examine whether, and if yes to what extent and in what sense, this transformative vision of unorthodoxy reached the day-to-day making and management of policies. The research takes a comparative perspective both in time and across countries, relying on a questionnaire survey of senior executives in 16 European countries. Quantitative evidence is supplemented by and contrasted with qualitative data gained from key stakeholders of public sector reforms in Hungary.

You can find ResearchGate link here.



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