187 Discussion on "The Post-Communist Mafia State" by Bálint Magyar

Thursday, July 13, 2017: 4:00 PM-5:45 PM
Carnegie Room (University of Glasgow)
BOOK PANEL. Balint Magyar, a prominent Hungarian sociologist recently published an influential book titled: Post-Communist Mafia State: The Case of Hungary. Budapest - New York: Central European University Press, 2016. He claims that mafia state is a new form of rule in the post-communist (and possibly other) context. It differs from the network state, predatory state, state capture, clan state and patron state. It appears in autocracies or hybrid regimes. It relies upon the dichotomy of formal rules and informal practices, patron-client relationships in both political and economic dimensions. The chief politician is the patriarch, the head of the family, or, in other word the Godfather. In a mafia state, the state is not occupied from outside by oligarchs, instead, there are political/economic enterpreneurs who occupy the state from inside upon their electoral victory. Once the state is hollowed out and occupied, the mafia state creates a one way line of hierarchical deendencies and eliminates alternative political forces and economic platforms. It reformulates the apparatus and the party, controls the media and centralizes the flow of information. Still it is not a dictatorship, but a semi-dictatorial setting (hybrid or mixed regime or a softer form of autocracy). Regarding the analytical importance of the thesis, and its empirical relevance in comparative politics the roundtable will discuss its applicability in broader set of cases.
András Bozóki
Kim Lane Scheppele , András Bozóki and Miklós Áron Sükösd
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