The Lawfare Podcast: Viktor Orbán Switches Democracy Off

Jen Patja, Benjamin Wittes, Anne Applebaum, András Pap
Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With
Brookings

Nobody has been more aggressive about using the coronavirus crisis to seize power than Hungarian strong man Viktor Orbán. Orbán declared a state of emergency and has been ruling by decree. He has also instigated criminal penalties for spreading false information about the coronavirus, and his Fidesz party has effectively dissolved Parliament. Joining Benjamin Wittes to discuss the decline of Hungarian democracy is András Pap, a Hungarian scholar of constitutional law and a professor at Central European University's nationalist studies program in Budapest, and Anne Applebaum, essayist, author, and scholar of Eastern Europe, nationalism and the former Soviet Union. They talked about whether Orbán's seizure of power is as big a deal as it initially appears, about where Orbán stands in the pantheon of right wing populists worldwide, and about what, if anything, the European Union is likely to do about it.



Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books.
Anne Applebaum is a columnist, historian, and the author of "Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lore of Authoritarianism."
András Pap is a Hungarian scholar of constitutional law and a professor at Central European University's nationalist studies program in Budapest.

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