UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Hungary under Orban – The First Ten Years

24 November 2020, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm

Viktor Orban

Join us for this panel event as part of the SSEES Central Europe Seminar Series

This event is free.

Event Information

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Central Europe Seminar Series



The parliamentary elections in Hungary in 2010 produced a political earthquake. Viktor Orban became prime minister of a two-party coalition government that obtained two-thirds of the seats in parliament and proceeded to reform the country including rewriting the constitution, altering the electoral system and enacting ‘unorthodox’ economic policies.. It has maintained this legislative zeal following its subsequent victories in 2014 and 2018, while also clashing with the European Union, building alliances with other ‘illiberal’leaders such as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, and adopting one of the toughest anti-migrant policies in Europe. By bringing together three experts on Hungary, this seminar will provide an overview of the Orban’s government policies since 2010 concentrating on foreign policy, the economy and the reasons for Orban’s electoral success.
Registration is free but essential via Zoom.


Dr Balazs Szent-Ivanyi of Aston University (UK),

Dr Dora Piroska of the Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary and the Central European University, Austria and

Dr Thomas Lorman, UCL SSEES

Chair: Dr Jakub Benes, UCL SSEES

Dr Balazs Szent-Ivanyi is a political economist with a particular interest in foreign aid. His talk, entitled ‘Eastern opening and protecting persecuted Christians. How Viktor Orban instrumentalized foreign policy for domestic purposes’ will discuss new trends in Hungarian foreign policy under the government of Viktor Orban. In particular, he will examine the attempt to reorientate foreign policy towards building partnerships with illiberal states in the Middle East and Asia. He will also examine how the Orban government’s rhetoric of defending Christianity has impacted its foreign policy.

Dr Dora Piroska is  a political economist with interests in international and comparative political economy and politics of finance. Her talk, entitled ‘Evaluating Orban's financial nationalism: countering the structural power of finance while weakening democracy’ examines financial nationalism's many unexpected achievements in the context of global financial power. At the same time, the talk will underline an underemphasized critical condition of its advancement, namely diminishing democratic oversight of major financial transformations.

Tom Lorman
Dr Thomas Lorman is a historian of Central Europe. He has taught at UCL SSEES since 2010. His talk, entitled ‘ The creation of a new government party: explaining Orban’s electoral Ssuccesses’ will examine how Orban has created a dominant governing coalition (FIDESZ-KDNP) which has strong similarities with earlier ‘government parties’ in Hungarian history