Explaining public support for democratic erosion in Hungary

Le projet

This project, funded by the Center for Comparative and International Studies at ETH/UZH, tackles a question that lies at the heart of the phenomenon of democratic backsliding: what drives citizens to endorse political leaders who advocate a programme of democratic erosion? It proposes a conjoint experiment to probe determinants of citizen support for political leaders in Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban has repeatedly been confirmed in office despite open rule of law violations. In theoretical terms, we contribute to a growing literature on the determinants of citizen support for democracy-eroding practices by exploring the trade-offs that guide vote choice in multi-party systems. Empirically, it stands to provide a better understanding of the divergent motives underpinning Hungarian citizens’ repeated endorsement of the Fidesz party that constitute a particularly salient puzzle in the field of post-Communist democratisation.

The team

Theresa Gessler, University of Zurich

Natasha Wunsch, Sciences Po, CEE & ETH Zurich

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