Skip to main content

Dynamics of an Authoritarian System - Book launch

Book Launch
Book cover
Friday, October 28, 2022, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

CEU Press cordially invite you to the book launch of Dynamics of an Authoritarian System: Hungary, 2010–2021.


Leszek Balcerowicz (Professor of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics; Former Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and Minister of Finance)
András Bozóki (Professor at the Department of Political Science, CEU, and Research Affiliate at the CEU Democracy Institute)
Béla Greskovits (University Professor at the Department of International Relations, and Department of Political Science, CEU)
The event will be moderated by Péter Bucsky (journalist,

Speakers will be online; the authors, Maria Csanádi, Márton Gerő, Miklós Hajdu, Imre Kovách, Mihály Laki, and István János Tóth will be available for Q&A online or in person.

Join us in person at the CEU Budapest Campus, Nádor u. 15, Room 104 or online via Zoom link:
Meeting ID 968 4280 2442 / Passcode 534862

Reception to follow.

About the book

In this book, six researchers from different professional backgrounds examine the dynamics of the development and reproduction of an authoritarian system. The chapters empirically show how the authoritarian system gradually captures -- and diffuses into -- the society's and the economy's subsystems; describe how it captures the national, intermediate, and micro level sub-structures and reproduces itself as it expands. It empirically analyzes the mechanisms, instruments, and institutions of political capture. The authors distinguish between and explore welfare, development, and recombinant projects and their interrelationships. They study the existence of political favoritism in the case the politically connected enterprises based on an analysis of the corruption risk of 242,183 public tenders. They detail the crony system's functioning and political connections' network aspects in the rapid enrichment of politically connected enterprises. The book exemplifies the vulnerability of democratic institutions to authoritarian and populist regimes, including the tendency for institutionalized corruption to develop systemically, its destructive power in the public and business sectors, and the built and natural environment.


“Orchestrated illiberal attacks on constitutional democracies are often discussed by representatives of various disciplines. But systemic problems require systemic analyses—something the authors of this volume master in an exquisite manner. They bring together concepts of different academic fields, offering a clear analysis of the interconnectedness of political capture and institutionalized corruption, and revealing how political capture diffuses into different social subfields. A must-read for anyone who wishes to gain a comprehensive picture of the maladies of constitutional democracies threatened by authoritarian or hybrid regimes.” — Petra Bárd, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, and  Central European University 

“The authors of this book succeed in a task that is very difficult to accomplish: writing a book with high political relevance, great conceptual clarity, and enormous data sets. All three elements are present throughout and none get in the way of the other. Good books meet one of these standards, very good ones, two, and outstanding ones all three. Dynamics of an Authoritarian System is an outstanding book.” — Peter J. Katzenstein, Cornell University

 “Orbán’s government has gradually infiltrated into all strata of Hungary’s social-political-economic life. The particular strength of the presentation and analysis of that process in this collective work consists in the variety of approaches and research methods applied by the authors: theoretical dissection, case studies, and econometrics supporting each other and integrated into a convincing whole." — Károly Attila Soós, University of Pécs 

“This book is a valuable account of the inner workings and dynamics of the Hungarian political regime since Fidesz’s landslide 2010 electoral victory. It makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how and why Fidesz was able to capture the Hungarian state and economy since 2010.” — Jason Wittenberg, University of California, Berkeley