Hungary's U-turn in Kornai's system paradigm perspective: a case for national authoritarian capitalism

Henin P., Insel A.

PUBLIC CHOICE, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11127-021-00882-1
  • Title of Journal : PUBLIC CHOICE


In an article published in 2016, Janos Kornai proposes to add a third form of governance between democracy and dictatorship to his binary model of system paradigm. It is an autocratic capitalist system, marked by the dilution of the principle of the separation of powers in favor of a strongman and an institutionalized clientelism. This paper proposes to analyze Kornai's third modality of economic and political organization in the context of national authoritarian capitalism (NACa), a variety of capitalism with more or less severe forms of authoritarian social control and mobilization of a nationalist culture. The main characteristics of NACa, of which Victor Orban's Hungary is a significant example, are outlined and the question of the stability of that form of government is raised.