Vasile Sebastian Dâncu, Illiberalism and the Trianon Syndrome: The Orbán Regime and the Support of Ethnic Parallelism in Transylvania

Contemporary Hungary has been defined by a defensive national identity that has its origins in the controversial national history seen as an unfinished and constant struggle for freedom against oppressive foreign powers. Fidesz, the party that leads Hungary today, politically legitimizes itself by using historical memory. According to the Fidesz nationalist-populist discourse, Hungary lost its sovereignty in 1944 following the German occupation and regained it in 2010, when the second Orbán government drafted the new Constitution (adopted in 2011) and restored historical continuity. Budapest links the Treaty of Trianon to the principle of responsibility of the Hungarian government towards Hungarians in neighboring countries, especially those in Transylvania. This paper discusses the results of an empirical study intended to determine whether the continuous pressure exerted by Hungary on the Hungarian population in Transylvania, in regards to Trianon, has had any effect upon the Hungarian public opinion in this area of Romania. The results clearly show that the Statute Law and the propaganda of the Budapest governments have succeeded in creating, at least in the counties of Harghita and Covasna, communities that resonate with Budapest’s projects.

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