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Andrea Peto: Three Readings of One Law: Reregulating Sexuality in Hungary

“‘Will to power’ is the key concept when one wants to decipher the long rule of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his policies,” our Research Affiliate Andrea Peto writes in her post for the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

The Hungarian government has received international criticism over a new law that bans the depiction or promotion of homosexuality to those under the age of 18. Andrea Peto argues that the law may well prove to be a miscalculation by Orban who “is once again putting his bets on a lame duck reaction from the EU. He does so wisely, fully aware that the text of the new law can be interpreted by the various actors very differently,” she writes.

Still, Orban might have slightly miscalculated the effects of the new law, “which consciously and censoriously conflates homosexuality and paedophilia and bans sex education in schools,” Andrea Peto argues, adding that it “also threatens the entire advertising industry,” since the “law states that it is ‘prohibited to make available to persons under the age of 18 any content that depicts sexuality for its own purposes’.”

“A neo-feudal Hungarian illiberal government using their version of the salvation discourse offers the illusion of the strong state and the protection of children based on the vulnerability and uncertainty of so many citizens, while in reality it is only driven by the ‘will to power’,” she concludes.

Read the full post here.