October 18, 2015

Jan-Werner Müller in the New York Review of Books Daily on Hungary's "Viktator"

Network member Jan-Werner Müller (Princeton) has a new piece out in the New York Review of Books Daily.  Entitled "Hungary: 'Sorry About Our Prime Minister,'" the article focuses on Hungary's controversial Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, and his handling of the European refugee crisis.  Jan-Werner's provocative and powerfully written piece argues that Orbán's conduct, policies, and posturing represent nothing short of an effort to start a "pan-European culture war," posing a challenge to "the moral core of the European project."  The first paragraph follows; the full article is available here.

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Visitors to Budapest this past July were greeted by large billboards, sponsored by an opposition group, saying: “Sorry about our prime minister.” A few weeks later, ugly images from Hungary began circulating around the world: Hungarian prison laborers, soldiers, and jobless men in workfare programs all mobilized to build a razor-wire fence at the border with Serbia in record time; Syrian families prevented from boarding carriages at Budapest train stations; police firing tear gas on refugees trying to cross the border from Serbia; government leaders warning of a “United European Caliphate” if the Muslim masses aren’t stopped in time. Yet the prime minister, Viktor Orbán, clearly thinks there’s no reason for him to be sorry, let alone for Hungarians to feel ashamed of him. He gleefully points out that he is merely applying European rules that require him to secure the EU’s external borders. And in Brussels and at the UN, he has been shopping around his proposal to close Europe and send refugees elsewhere—what he calls a system of “global quotas.”

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