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From New Year’s Specials to the Trouble with Fortune

Read the latest publications or listen to the latest podcasts by the Review of Democracy, our online journal.

2023 New Year’s Special

In a special edition of the RevDem podcast, our editors Laszlo Bruszt, Oliver Garner, Kasia Krzyżanowska, Ferenc Laczo, Michał Matlak, and Renata Uitz discuss their favorite RevDem content, best books and articles they have read, most important political events of 2022 and more. At the end of the episode, they are joined by the authors of the most popular piece of 2022 published by RevDem: an op-ed by Elżbieta Kwiecińska and Pavel Skigin “The discourse of privilege: Western Europe and the Russian War against Ukraine.”

Listen to it here.

5 Key 2022 Books: Political Economy

Gabor Scheiring, a head of the Political Economy and Inequalities section at the Review of Democracy, presents five key books in political economy of 2022.

Read it here.

5 Key 2022 Books: Rule of Law

Oliver Garner, editor of the Rule of Law section at the Review of Democracy, presents five key books on the rule of law in 2022.

Read it here.

5 Key 2022 Books: Democracy in Literature

Kasia Krzyżanowska, editor of the Review of Books section at the Review of Democracy, presents five key books in democracy in literature in 2022.

Read it here.

5 Key 2022 Books: Ideas

Ferenc Laczó, editor of the History of Ideas section at the Review of Democracy, presents five key Ideas books from 2022.

Read it here.

Building Enduring Democracies: Filip Milačić on the Effects of Nation and State Building on Democratic Consolidation

RevDem Assistant Editor Lorena Drakula speaks with Filip Milačić, author of Stateness and Democratic Consolidation. Lessons from Former Yugoslavia, about the effects unresolved issues of stateness can have on trajectories of democratic consolidation; and what can be learned for democracy promotion projects today.

Read or listen to it here.

Beverly Gage on J. Edgar Hoover and the American Century

In this conversation with RevDem Editor Ferenc Laczó, Beverly Gage – author of the new biography G-Man. J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century – discusses how Hoover built and shaped the FBI and what made him enjoy such an exceptional and long-lasting career; and dissects his contradictions, reflecting on the sources of his popularity and why his reputation got so badly damaged.

Read or listen to it here.

Asking the Wrong Questions, the Wrong Way: Why Replicating “National Consultations” Is an Inadequate Response to Their Success

Although national referenda have become rare in post-2010 Hungary, the use of another instrument of plebiscitarian democracy, non-binding informal polls called national consultations, has not only been serving as a legitimization tool of government policies, but has also been adopted by an opposition movement as a mobilization technique. This op-ed by Balint Mikola argues that strategic adoption of populist democratic repertoires is a threat to democratic representation.

Read it here.

The Hungarian Government Became Hostage of Its Own Propaganda

In this conversation with RevDem Editor Robert Nemeth, Hungarian journalist Szabolcs Panyi talks about the Hungarian government’s response to the war in Ukraine, why it is not willing to counter Russian infiltration in Hungary, the reasons behind the anti-US sentiment of Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his inner circle, and anti-Western propaganda in Hungary. He also discusses how being targeted by the Pegasus spyware impacted him.

Read or listen to it here.

The EU Prize for Literature — In Conversation with Anne Bergman-Tahon

What is the European Union Prize for Literature, and what kind of literature is chosen for the prize? What is the story behind it and what are its aims? Is there a European-wide readership? How do they promote European literature? These and more questions are answered by Anne Bergman-Tahon in this conversation with editor Kasia Krzyżanowska.

Read or listen to it here.

Cannibal Capitalism: Nancy Fraser on How the Global Economic Order Consumes the Foundations of Our Democracy and Society

In this conversation with RevDem Political Economy and Inequalities section co-head Vera Scepanovic, Nancy Fraser – author of Cannibal Capitalism – explains why the ongoing crises of democracy, healthcare, climate, and racial injustice are really manifestations of a single broader crisis of capitalism; and how the ability of capitalism to survive by redrawing boundaries between the economic and non-economic realms is being challenged.

Read or listen to it here.

Informal Powers as a Barrier to EU Accession. Nino Tsereteli on Georgia’s EU Candidacy

Teodora Miljojkovic discusses with Nino Tsereteli the roadblocks to Georgia’s accession to the European Union. Their discussion covers among other things what reforms are needed in order for Georgia to get closer to the compliance with the Copenhagen criteria; how informal powers negatively impact Georgian governance and how they can be overcome; and if Nino Tsereteli believes the will in both Georgia and the EU remain for progress towards EU accession.

Read or listen to it here.

Westernization by Preemptive Rejection: How Viktor Orbán Sells to U.S. Conservatives Their Own Obsessions

In this op-ed, RevDem Editor Ferenc Laczó explores how Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s regime “has been succeeding to a remarkable degree at translating key aspects of Hungarian ethnic nationalism into a wider panic about the future of Western civilization" and and why "Viktor Orbán and his regime has managed to capture so much attention in the United States."

Read it here.

How the Necessary Cold War Ended – and Why an Unnecessary One Followed It: Archie Brown on the Political and the Personal in the Relationship Between the West and the Soviet Union/Russia

Archie Brown – author of the recently released book The Human Factor. Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher, and the End of the Cold War – speaks with RevDem Assistant Editor Iker Itoiz Ciáurriz about why he approaches the end of the Cold War through the study of political leaders; explores the different personal formations and the varying relationships between his three main protagonists before and after 1985, and much more.

Read or listen to it here.

Emancipating Jews from Narratives of Victimhood and Redemption: Susan Neiman Discusses Germany’s Current Memory Culture

Susan Neiman speaks with RevDem Editor Ferenc Laczo and dissects what has made the articulation of universalistic Jewish commitments increasingly difficult in the German public sphere; shows how both ignorance regarding Eastern Europe and social solidarity with the victims have shaped German responses to the ongoing Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, and more.

Read or listen to it here.

The Stories We Tell Ourselves — In Conversation with Peter Brooks

In this conversation with RevDem editor Kasia Krzyżanowska, Peter Brooks — author of the new book Seduced by Story. The Use and Abuse of Narrative — discusses the “storyfication” of reality; explains why we need stories; ponders the impact fiction has on our lives; and depicts the dangers oversimplified narratives pose to our democratic societies.

Read or listen to it here.

How 2000 people made an impact at a time when society was silent: András Bozóki on the rolling transition of Hungary

In this discussion, RevDem Managing Editor Michał Matlak discusses with András Bozóki about his last book, Rolling Transition and the Role of Intellectuals: Case of Hungary, published this year by Central European University Press, which tells a compelling story of the role of intellectuals in political and social change that took place in Hungary between 1977-1994.

Read or listen to it here.

Liberalism Hasn’t Provided Adequate Answers to Today’s Major Crises: Luke Savage on Contemporary Liberalism and Its Democratic Socialist Critique

Luke Savage – author of The Dead Center. Reflections on Liberalism and Democracy After the End of History – discusses with RevDem Editor Ferenc Laczo key aspects of his critique of contemporary liberalism; reflects on the role of generational experiences in shaping the search for a political alternative; offers a detailed assessment of Joe Biden’s ongoing presidency, and more.

Read or listen to it here.

Why Film Matters: Oksana Sarkisova on the Importance of Documenting Society

In this conversation with RevDem assistant editor Lucie Hunter, Oksana Sarkisova – Blinken OSA Research Fellow and the Director of Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival – discusses the role of filmmaking in today’s society; how festivals are reacting to contemporary global conflicts and challenges; the importance of safekeeping visual archives; and how micro-histories help us understand the wider context.

Read or listen to it here.

Why Do Autocracies Last? Lucan Way on the Longevity of Revolutionary Regimes

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Lucan Way, co-author, with Steven Levitsky, of the new book Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism, introduces what revolutionary autocracies are; explains why they tend to be more durable than other kinds of authoritarian regimes; and discusses how the revolutionary sequences so crucial for the emergence of such regimes have played out across the globe.

Read or listen to it here.

The Trouble with Fortune: Zsuzsanna Szelényi on Hungary’s Tainted Democracy

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Zsuzsanna Szelényi – author of the new book Tainted Democracy. Viktor Orbán and the Subversion of Hungary – analyzes the main characteristics of the Orbán regime and the techniques Hungary’s current rulers have employed to establish their dominance over the country’s economy; reflects on the dilemmas and strategies of the Hungarian opposition; examines the role of gendered practices in Hungarian politics; and discusses the reasons behind the sharp democratic reversal and decline of the early 21st century.

Read or listen to it here.