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Mitchell A. Orenstein, Péter Krekó, and Attila Juhász

When Hungary passed laws entitling Hungarians living abroad to Hungarian passports and then the right to vote in Hungarian elections, it fanned dangerous nationalistic flames and fueled fears of secessionist movements in Hungarian communities beyond the country’s border.

Mitchell A. Orenstein and Péter Krekó

Earlier this week, as Europe was preparing for continent-wide parliamentary elections, Hungary was busy asking the EU Parliament to revoke diplomatic immunity for Béla Kovács, a prominent representative of Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party, in order to charge him with spying on the EU for Russia.

Review Essay, Mar/Apr 2013
Brendan Simms

Foreign policy realists have long found inspiration in the ideas of Lord Castlereagh, who served as British foreign secretary during and after the Napoleonic Wars. A new biography of the statesman presents him as more ideological than is traditionally assumed, and suggests that his example is more relevant than ever -- and might even hold the key to solving Europe's ongoing crisis.

James Kirchick

Greece's economic peril has raised fears about the end of the eurozone. But Hungary's autocratic turn under Prime Minister Viktor Orban presents a more fundamental challenge to the European project.

Comment, Nov/Dec 1994
Anne Applebaum

In Central Europe the greatest threat to democracy comes not from the nationalists but from the better-organized former communist parties. Encouraging Western-style conservative parties would provide economic and political competition.

Essay, Jul 1971
Robert F. Byrnes

Even in an age of nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles, the states of Eastern Europe now dominated by the Soviet Union constitute an important element of Soviet national security, a kind of cordon Stalinaire. The one hundred million people, and the resources their governments command, contribute a significant increment to Soviet economic, technological and military power. Soviet control of these areas provides forward military bases and possession of the traditional invasion routes into Western Europe, especially across the northern plains. The Soviet position, in fact, constitutes a threat to the security of Western Europe, a pistol held at its head.

Essay, Oct 1968
James H. Billington

Astonishing events in Czechoslovakia were only the latest in a series of changes in the communist world that took the outside world by surprise. The thaw and Hungarian rebellion of 1956, China's break with the Soviet Union and immersion in internal convulsion, and even the rejection of Russian control in Rumania-all were largely unforeseen (with only a few exceptions) even by expert opinion in the West, Like military planners who prepare for the last war, commentators on communist affairs in their preoccupation with accounting for the last surprise have often left the public unprepared for the next one. The concept of monolithic totalitarianism, based on parallels between Hitler and the later Stalin, ill prepared us to expect rebellion in Hungary; preoccupation with the Sino-Soviet split (which was only belatedly thought to be important, and then rapidly promoted into being the controlling factor in the divided communist world of the sixties) distracted us from any expectation of liberal deviation in Czechoslovakia.

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