Czibere, Ibolya – Kovách, Imre (2021) State Populism in Rural Hungary

Czibere, Ibolya – Kovách, Imre (2021) State Populism in Rural Hungary. Rural Sociology pp. 1–25 (Q1, IF: 4.078


Our concern in this contribution is to ask what the special features of populism in Hungary are, where government and the largest opposition party can be considered populist. The study aims at analyzing motivations, interests, benefits, and profits of populism in fragile Hungarian regions. The main part examines three peculiar features of state populism: the rural support for stabile political and social structures; early-born conservative social policy, which freezes and preserves social inequalities and pacificates social conflicts; and selective social policy that has made a strong difference between “worthy” and “unworthy” poor, thus, contributing to ethnic-based conflicts and emerging prejudice. The Hungarian case shows that poverty and social inequalities, disintegration, hierarchical local power structure with dominance of economic–political oligarchy, weak participation, monopolization of local and non-local media, and racialization of poverty are enabling factors of populism.