Reiviting liberalism


Reiviting liberalism

Republikon Intézet

During the 2016 US presidential election, the Brexit campaign and the recent parliamentary election  in Hungary populist politicians contradicted the globalized city, urban lifestyles and multiculturalism  with the traditional countryside, with Christian culture, with the lagging industrial areas and with  local communities. However, the Hungarian case proves that populist politicians do not want to solve  the problems of local communities, but wish to exploit the abovementioned anxiety by fueling the  fear from globalization (i.e. European integration, migration). Independent local communities could  also hinder the centralization of power. Thus the populists’ goal here is to build a patron-­‐client  hierarchical relation.

The ‘good king’ solves the problem of the local community, which should  demonstrate political loyalty in return. This is an asymmetrical power relation, the exploitation of  local political, social problems. An important challenge of contemporary liberalism is to answer this  challenge by mitigating the uncertainties, the anxiety of local communities and by offering liberal  local policies, which can ensure autonomy, confidence and entrepreneurship. With the help of the  communication technologies of the 21st century it is possible to create cheap, transparent  municipalities and participative local politics.  Our volume wishes to consider the role of liberalism on the local level. We believe, that autonomy of  communities and the individual, which is a central liberal value should have priority on local policy  planning. In this volume good practices of successful local economic policies, local liberal results are  presented for liberal politicians, experts and also for the broader audience. Those social groups,  stakeholders are identified, who could be the target groups and allies of liberal local politics.

The  volume offers cultural, economic, historical and political explanations of liberal opportunities on the  local level in different countries in Central Europe. In the first chapter Miłosz Hodun presents the  political issues, which defined the 2018 municipal elections in Poland. He demonstrates that liberal  cultural policies, like women’s rights and LGBTQ recognition could be achieved on the local level as  well and a smaller liberal party can define the agenda even in alliance with bigger political parties. In  the second chapter Dejan Ravšelj, Marko Ropret and Aleksander Aristovnik analyzes the barriers of  development and economic success for small and medium sized enterprises in Slovenia. They  conclude that due to the regional differences good economic policies should be addressed on the  local level or at least with a reflection on regional and local differences. In the third chapter Andrea  Virág, Virág Bagi, Sára Baló and Soma Sárkány assess the local results of liberal political parties in  Hungary, namely the former SZDSZ party and the new Momentum party. Also, they present the good  practices of incumbent liberal mayors and the 2019 oppositional primary elections form a liberal  aspect. Finally, Robert Braun in the final chapter presents the historical-­‐cultural barriers of liberalism  on the local level in Austria.


  The whole publication is available HERE.