Stefano Bottoni

Sovereign geoculture. Origins and features of the conservative cultural hegemony in Hungary

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This article analyzes the cultural dimension of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán’s illiberal governance. The sovereign “geocultureµ the Hungarian right has been building for decades represents a crucial, yet underestimated feature of the twilight of liberal democratic values in postcommunist Hungary. Taking up a wide range of scholarly theories, from postcolonial studies to the wallersteinian notion of semiperiphery, public intellectuals and pundits have made popular the notion that Hungary and Central Europe as a whole should replace a declining and self-hating post-Cold War Western Europe as main defender of core European values. They share Orbán’s view about an irreducible conflict going on in Europe between self-perceived “patriotsµ and “cosmopolitansµ. Culture and identity become in their everyday discoursive practice weapons to be used against all kind of enemies in order to legitimize the official discourse and further marginalize the already under attack liberal institutions and individuals.


  • Hungary
  • Anti-Liberalism
  • Geoculture


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