«Public Administration Issues» Journal,

Post. address:
National Research University
Higher School of Economics
20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow 101000, Russian Federation
Location address:
of. 307, 4/2, Slavyanskaya sq., Moscow 109074, Russian Federation

Tel./fax: 7 (495) 772-95-90, ext. 12631

E-mail: vgmu@hse.ru 


Major Indexing

Research and educational journal
Published quarterly since 2007
ISSN 1999-5431
E-ISSN 2409-5095

Marton Gellen1
  • 1 Ph.D., Associate Professor, Faculty of Public Governance and International Studies, University of Public Service, Budapest, Hungary, 2 Ludovika tér., 1083 Budapest, Hungary.


2021. No. 6. P. 84–102 [issue contents]

Hungarian public administration culture has traditionally been considered as overtly legalistic and proceduralist, which appears to be in contrast with claims of weakening the rule of law or facing sanctions under Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union. This article offers an overview on the criticisms put forth by academic writers and EU institutions regarding the Hungarian development path and puts them into the wider context of democratization through transaction (transitology, democracy export) theory. The article compares findings of contemporary interventionist authors with the propositions of such iconic writers as Dankwart Rustow (1970) and Samuel P. Huntington (1984) and attempts to connect the dots between these realms of thought. These authors all share the view that democracy shall be exported the more and quicker the better. Transitology, though, has had its critics, while contemporary interventionist theory appears to be rather monolithic without considerable criticism. The article uses the approach of Payne (2006), and of other authors, to question various statements of contemporary interventionists.

Not least, recent developments in Afghanistan provide historical evidence that the ambitions of transactional democratisation are predetermined to fall short on non-democratic institutions imposing democracy using non-democratic measures on recipients of various sorts.

Citation: Gellen, M. (2021) ‘Development through intervention? Revisiting criticism on Hungarian democracy’, Public Administration Issues , 6 (Special Issue II, electronic edition), pp. (in English). DOI: 10.17323/1999-5431-2021-0-6-84-102
ISSN 1999-5431
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