Democratic Transition in Hungary

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Joseph Printer


The purpose of this essay is to analyze three factors that led to a democratic transition in Hungary, and also to determine the state of democracy in Hungary today. The history of rule in Hungary Jed to a situation with many political actors and agendas. There are numerous factors that caused a democratic transition, among them the weakening of the Soviet Union, the influence of other nations, and the negotiations between the Hungarian government and the Hungarian opposition. The Soviet Union's slow collapse allowed for democratic conditions to come into being in many Soviet occupied nations, including Hungary. With this collapse, other countries such as the United States were able to deliver economic aid to Hungary. Another country that helped facilitate democratic transition was Poland, which had gone through a transition under Soviet rule not long before, and thus provided an example to other countries on how to undergo a transition. The third factor is the roundtable discussions between the opposition and the government in Hungary. These discussions led to the government agreeing to free elections, which led to a democracy. The democracy in Hungary today is consolidated; there have been no revolutions against democratic rule, and the economy is steadily improving. This, plus the admission of Hungary into the European Union, leads to the conclusion that Hungary is a stable, consolidated democracy.


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