From Poster Boy to Basket Case: Hungary and the Global Economic Crisis, 2007–10

  • Adam Fabry


This chapter analyses the impact of the 2008 global economic crisis on Hungary and other Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) economies. It shows how the global economic crisis hit the region hard, contributing to widespread public anger and disillusionment over the central tenets of neoliberal transformation in the region: free market capitalism, liberal democratic institutions, and European Union (EU) membership. As the negative impact of the global economic crisis deepened, it opened up a space for critics of neoliberalisation throughout the region to push for change: in Hungary this ‘window of opportunity’ was seized by the neo-conservative Fidesz and the far-right Jobbik party, who pushed for stronger intervention in the economy along national-populist lines. The chapter finds that the Socialists and the Free Democrats, who had been the principal advocates of Hungary’s particular ‘variety of neoliberalism’ in the 1990s and 2000s, eventually succumbed to the challenges of the political Right, resulting in their historical defeat in the 2010 general elections.


2008 Global economic crisis Austerity Central and Eastern Europe Hungary Neoliberalism 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam Fabry
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Study on Culture and Society National Scientific and Technical Research CouncilNational University of CórdobaCórdobaArgentina

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