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Article

Де-демократизация в Центральной Европе: в поисках новой теории домино

What is the catalyst of democratic rollbacks in the countries of the third wave of democratization [Huntington 1993; Shin 1994; Jaggers & Gurr 1995]? Why do democratic institutions weaken? Which areas of the state’s political life are primarily affected by de-democratization? In this paper, we seek to answer these questions by analyzing a small part of the empirical reality associated with the problem of de-democratization. Hungary and Poland are at the center of this study. These are the countries that were on the crest of the third wave of democratization in the 1990s and early 2000s, but after the right-populist parties came to power (Fidesz in Hungary and Prawo i Sprawiedliwość in Poland) began to introduce practices that could undermine the work of their democratic institutions. We suggest that Russia is the main exporter of anti-democratic practices to these countries.
The domino theory and the theory of linkage and leverage are used to construct the theoretical framework of the study. The explanatory power of these theories is tested when analyzing the de-democratization practices in the considered countries. For the encoding of dependent and independent variables, we refer to the MaxRange Historical World Regime Data database. The main method of data analysis is linear regression analysis.
The results of the analysis demonstrate that the main anti-democratic practices that were imported by Hungary and Poland from Russia are the fight against rallies and demonstrations, as well as the fight against unwanted media and NGOs. Russia seems to be the direct supplier of de-democratization for Hungary. At the same time, Budapest plays a role of transit point of de-democratization for Poland.