Global Scholars: Dr. Dalibor Roháč on Czech and Hungarian Politics


AAU is launching a new series named “Global Scholars”, with the aim of bringing guest lectures from top scholars to the AAU community. Our first speaker, Dr. Dalibor Roháč, will present his recent paper on transitions, populism, and democratic decline. AAU faculty and students are welcome to join the online discussion on Monday, November 15 at 4.30pm. Prior registration is needed and capacity is limited.

Dalibor Roháč is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies European political and economic trends, specifically Central and Eastern Europe, the European Union (EU) and the eurozone, US-EU relations, and the post-Communist transitions and backsliding of countries in the former Soviet bloc. He is concurrently a research associate at the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies in Brussels and a fellow at Anglo-American University in Prague. He has a PhD in political economy from King’s College London; an MPhil in economics from St Antony’s College, University of Oxford; an MA in economics from George Mason University; and a BA in economics from Charles University in Prague.Longer bio can be found here.

Paper citation: Dalibor Roháč (2021) Transitions, populism, and democratic decline: evidence from Hungary and the Czech Republic, European Politics and Society, DOI: 10.1080/23745118.2021.1973213

Abstract: Although both Hungary and the Czech Republic have seen populists arrive in power over the past decade, only Hungary has experienced a measurable deterioration in the quality of its democratic institutions and rule of law. The different circumstances of the transition after 1989, particularly the differences in constitutional choices and transitional justice measures, help explain the cleavages, polarization, and erosion of trust that characterized Hungarian politics in the run up to the 2010 election. Jointly with a highly disproportionate electoral system, these structural factors made Hungary more prone to the de-democratization observed under Viktor Orbán than the Czech Republic.