Democ­ra­cy and plu­ral­ism have been under attack in Hun­gary since 2010, when the Fidesz gov­ern­ment began to weak­en demo­c­ra­t­ic checks and bal­ances. In the Hun­gar­i­an coun­try report, Bulc­sú Hun­ya­di, Csa­ba Mol­nár and Vesz­na Wesse­nauer use the Voic­es on Val­ues sur­vey results as well as their own expert inter­views to explain why pub­lic oppo­si­tion to the government’s anti-demo­c­ra­t­ic mea­sures has not been more widespread. 

The sur­vey results demon­strate that while Hun­gar­i­ans do in the­o­ry val­ue civ­il rights and lib­er­ties, in prac­tice they often hold con­flict­ing and some­times con­tra­dic­to­ry views of what con­sti­tutes a good soci­ety. Most Hun­gar­i­ans val­ue free­dom of expres­sion, the abil­i­ty of groups crit­i­cal of the gov­ern­ment to engage with it, and free­dom of the press. How­ev­er, many Hun­gar­i­ans also want the gov­ern­ment to ensure that media report­ing about Hun­gary is positive. 

In addi­tion, Hun­gar­i­ans, like the Poles, have a majori­tar­i­an under­stand­ing of democ­ra­cy. Their strong desire for polit­i­cal, cul­tur­al, and eco­nom­ic sta­bil­i­ty often over­rides their com­mit­ment to civ­il rights and lib­er­ties, in par­tic­u­lar when the rights of minori­ties are con­cerned. A major­i­ty of the Hun­gar­i­an pop­u­la­tion is strong­ly opposed to immi­gra­tion. The authors trace these anti­im­mi­gra­tion atti­tudes to the government’s effec­tive anti-immi­gra­tion cam­paign, start­ed in 2015. How­ev­er, they also note that the population’s atti­tudes are more nuanced than gen­er­al­ly thought and that respon­dents show far less hos­til­i­ty to non-natives already liv­ing in Hun­gary than gov­ern­ment rhetoric does.