Attila Ágh’s study has been published in Journal of Comparaitve Politics Volume 8, Number 2, July 2015 4-26. pp
The decline of the “deficit democracies” in East-Central Europe has accelerated during the global crisis. Nowadays it is rather difficult to find the proper term for these hybrid polities between democracy and non-democracy. The main tendency is the growing gap between the formal democracy and substantial democracy that has been hollowing out the democracy and deepened into De-Europeanization and De-Democratization. This tendency has been the most evident and visible in Hungary as a worst case scenario, since after the 2010 elections a genuine Potemkin democracy has emerged in Hungary with a democratic façade but with a quasi “one-party rule” behind that has turned by the 2014 elections into an elected autocracy. In the other ECE countries this decline has been much less marked, but the fusion of economy and politics has still taken place with the increasing public-political role of oligarchies, reaching even the government level. The decline of democracy – with this emptied Potemkin democracy and its oligarchical elite party politics – has generated deep dissatisfaction of the ECE populations and it has led to the collapse of the first party systems in the series of the “critical elections”.