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GSSR New Projects Seminar #4 March 30th. Join on Zoom

30 March 2021

The GSSR announces the fourth in our new series of seminars addressed both to doctoral students and academic staff. The seminars aim to bring together students and established researchers working in the same field, thus promoting closer interaction and future collaboration between them.

During the seminars doctoral students present for discussion well-advanced research projects, with experienced scholars from various academic centres in Poland and abroad invited to take the role of commentators.

The seminars take place on the Zoom platform and are open to all.

This next seminar is scheduled for March 30th  at 16:00 Warsaw time (CET) with Edit Zgut presenting the topic, “Informal power in authoritarian hybrid regimes – a theoretical framework”, and András Bozóki and Daniel Kelemen as commentators.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 858 8521 9409
Passcode: 795655


Further seminars are planned . The next will be on  April 20th at 16:00.



16:00  Steve Davies – Chair of the seminar – Welcome address

16:05  Józef Niżnik – Hungary and Poland on the way to Authoritarianism – introductory remarks

16:10  Edit Zgut – Informal power in authoritarian hybrid regimes – a theoretical framework

16:40  András Bozóki (Central European University) – Commentator

16:55  Daniel Kelemen (Rutgers University) – Commentator

17:10  Discussion

17:45  Closing remarks


Edit Zgut

Informal power in authoritarian hybrid regimes – a theoretical framework.


Hungary and Poland have has seen the most widespread democratic erosion in the European Union since Fidesz and Law and Justice started illiberal remodeling in 2010 and 2015 respectively. Despite that the EU has introduced various doctrinal innovations, it could not enforce these regimes to comply with the core values of the EU. Furthermore, the EU did not substantively address the informal exercise of power that undermined the Hungarian and the Polish democracy in substance.

While the literature has focused on the formal violation of the law, the links between the informal power and the limited constraining role of the EU remained under-theorized. My study aims to fill the gap by studying the informal practices of Fidesz and PiS government that helped them to create an uneven playing political field. Connecting the literature on authoritarian hybrid regimes and informality, it will be shown through three main domains how the Hungarian and Polish government (1) employed informal (coercive) clientelist tools during elections, (2) how it captured the media by loyal oligarchs/allies, and (3) how decision-making/executive power is being distributed in these regimes. While the study proposes a theoretical framework related to the Hungarian and Polish examples, it is also a warning sign for the EU to take the informal exercise of power seriously.



Previous seminars:

Seminar  March 16th 2021

Gabriel Klimont, Commentator: Marta Bucholc (Warsaw University) Aleksandra Derra (Nicolaus Copernicus University In Toruń)

The Origins of Biopolitics in Poland?Transformations of Power over Vagabonds in 18th Century Warsaw


Seminar 2 March 3rd 2021

Philip Højme, Commentator Marcel Stoetzler (Bangor University, UK) Reading Butler as a Dialectical Thinker: Juxtaposing Butler with Adorno.


Seminar 1 February 17th 2021

Helen Grela, Commentator: Randall Auxier (Southern Illinois University)

The Lockean and Smithian Roots of Entitlement Theory: Labor, Money, and the Transition to the Free Market system



The New Projects Seminar is funded by Narodowe Centrum Badań i Rozwoju, the project “Humanities and Social Sciences for Society and Enterprise” (POWR.03.02.00-IP.08-I019/17). The project is co-financed by the European Union from the European Social Fund under the Operational Program Knowledge Education Development 2014 – 2020.


Phone: (+48) 22 828 80 09

Fax: (+48) 22 826 48 21

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