Recent Submissions

  • Backsliding in area of constitutional safeguards and independent institutions, corruption control, and general equality and minorities

    Bátory, Ágnes; Sitter, Nick; Krizsán, Andrea; Zentai, Violetta; Department of Public Policy (Center for Policy Studies, Central European University (CEU CPS), 2017)
  • (e-)Participation and propaganda: The mix of old and new technology in Hungarian national consultations

    Bátory, Ágnes; Molnár, András; Svenson, Sara; Randma-Liiv, Tiina; Lember, Veiko; Department of Public Policy (Edward ElgarCheltenham, 2022)
    This chapter provides a case study of the use of online platforms for national consultations that target all citizens in Hungary. The Hungarian government, since 2010 led by the national-conservative populist party Fidesz, has carried out what is the most extensive series of consultations in contemporary Europe if measured by the share of citizens involved. The consultations are dominantly conducted by questionnaires that are printed and mailed by the postal service to all citizens, but recent consultations have also offered an online platform. Drawing on previous research on what happens when populist actors employ and institutionalize participatory methods, the chapter extends the inquiry to include the use of an electronic platform. Findings of this work shows that the online component has so far not led to new dynamics, and to the limited extent that it had any effect, it has largely been negative in terms of procedural guarantees. Due to the weakness of technology to prevent abuse, the online version of the consultation eroded rather than enhanced the credibility of the consultation process. The case study serves as a cautionary tale to those believing that e-participation practices ‘by default’ lead to superior normative and/or policy outcomes.
  • The fuzzy concept of collaborative governance: A systematic review of the state of the art

    Bátory, Ágnes; Svensson, Sara; Department of Public Policy (2019)
    This article contributes to the consolidation and synthesis of scholarship on collaborative governance by expanding our knowledge of how the term is used in the academic literature and policy documents in a range of European countries. It adds value to the existing reviews of the field by conducting a systematic literature review on a corpus of over 700 article abstracts and a traditional literature review identifying five key analytical dimensions. The article also provides an exploratory analysis of grey literature hitherto outside the purview of researchers and considers the linguistic and cultural connotations that alter the meaning of the term when translated into new contexts in ten EU/EFTA countries. Findings indicate heterogeneity and fuzziness in the way the concept is used. The article argues that explicit positions with respect to five main analytical dimensions and taking into account the national connotations that the term carries across political systems would inject more clarity into the academic discourse. This, in turn, will help policymakers to make informed use of the concept, especially in multi-national policy-making arenas.
  • Hungary: Creeping Authoritarianism in the Name of Pandemic Response

    Bátory, Ágnes; Ringe, Nils; Rennó, Lucio; Department of Public Policy (RoutledgeAbingdon, 2022)
    This chapter considers response to the Coronavirus pandemic in Hungary, governed since 2010 by the EU’s arguably most successful populist party, Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz. Governmental responsibility for containing the virus forced the party to adopt, by and large, the “standard” policy measures, including lockdowns, social distancing, and mask-wearing, and to roll out and propagate a broad vaccination program. At the same time, the party used the opportunity offered by the pandemic for further extending the executive’s powers and limiting civil rights and liberties. Fidesz’ handling of the crisis polarized the Hungarian public: highly criticized by the opposition parties’ supporters, its own camp continued to rally to Orbán’s call, despite the extremely high death toll imposed on the country by the inadequacy of the control measures.
  • Literature and Report Review: Work Package 2 - Deliverable 2.1

    Bátory, Ágnes; Svensson, Sara; Department of Public Policy (Center for Policy Studies, Central European University (CEU CPS)Budapest, 2017)
    This report constitutes the first deliverable of the project TROPICO (Transforming into Open, Innovative and Collaborative Governments), a project that between June 2017 and May 2021 comparatively examines how public administrations are transformed to enhance collaboration in policy design and service delivery, and advance the participation of public, private and societal actors. TROPICO investigates collaborative governance across five different European administrative traditions represented by ten European Union member states: Nordic (Norway, Denmark), Central and Eastern European (Estonia, Hungary), Continental (Netherlands, Germany), Napoleonic (France, Spain) and mixed (Belgium). This report is produced within Work Package (WP) 2, which is focused on the institutional conditions shaping collaboration in and by governments within the context of reform trajectories. It runs in parallel with WP3, which researches the transformations of individual drivers and barriers of collaboration. It precedes later work packages that will carry out empirical research on policy design and public service delivery within the context of internal and external collaboration (WP4 – WP7), and work packages that will look into the effects of collaboration on legitimacy, accountability and government efficiency (WP8 – WP9). This report reviews both scholarly and grey literature, spanning several disciplines and consisting of several inter-related strands, on collaborative governance. Based on a quantitative text analysis of over 700 publications, it provides a systematic review of how the concept is interpreted in the academic literature, as well as a qualitative review drawing on a wide range of sources. We find that the term ‘collaborative governance’ is used to describe practices that differ in terms of five key dimensions: Participation (inside and/or outside government); agency (who drives these processes); inclusiveness (organizational and/or citizen participation); scope (time frame and stage of policy cycle); and normative assumptions (positive or neutral). Furthermore, the report derives from the literature a list of institutional factors that may facilitate or obstruct collaboration with some tentative propositions about the causal mechanisms behind these variables. Finally, the report confirms a gap in the scholarly and practitioner literature with respect to the nature and analysis of relevant rules and legal frameworks that structure collaborative practices (‘codes of collaboration’).
  • Election Briefing No 28: Europe and the Hungarian Elections of April 2006

    Bátory, Ágnes; Sitter, Nick; Department of Public Policy (Sussex European InstituteSussex, 2006)
  • Election Briefing No 51: Europe and the Hungarian Parliamentary Election of April 2010

    Bátory, Ágnes; Sitter, Nick; Department of Public Policy (Sussex European InstituteSussex, 2010)
  • Von Differenzlinien und moralischen Mehrheiten: Majoritäre Identitätspolitiken als soft-autoritäre Herrschaftspraxis

    Adam, Jens; Steinhauer, Hagen; Randeria, Shalini; Other Academic Units (Wiener Gesellschaft für interkulturelle Philosophie (WiGiP), 2022)
    This article examines the role of majoritarian identity politics in soft authoritarian attacks on democracy. Drawing on examples from France and Poland, we argue that in their struggle for cultural and political hegemony, right-wing actors use strategies like the demonisation of emancipatory politics, the problematization of difference and self-victimisation of »racial« or ethnoreligious majorities. Highlighting three political buzzwords (namely séparatisme, islamo-gauchisme and wokisme), our first case study traces shifts in French public discourse towards a conjunction and normalization of islamophobe, racist and anti-intellectual stances. Ethnographic observations about recent anti-LGBT discourses and restrictive border policies in Poland showcase the mobilization of political affects to transform the body politic into an exclusive identarian moral community. We close the article with a pledge to take seriously current attempts to redefine Europe as a closed formation with a fixed essence and stable identity.
  • “An Ebbing Tide Lowers all Boats”: How the Great Recession of 2008 has Affected Men and Women in Central and Eastern Europe

    Fodor, Éva; Nagy, Beáta; Department of Gender Studies (CAIRN, 2014)
    In this paper we explore the impact of the economic recession of 2008 on gender inequality in the labor force in Central and Eastern European countries. We argue that job and occupational segregation protected women’s employment more than men’s in the CEE region as well, but unlike in more developed capitalist economies, women’s level of labor force participation declined and their rates of poverty increased during the crisis years. We also explore gender differences in opinions on the impact of the recession on people’s job satisfaction. For our analysis we use published data from EUROSTAT and our own calculations from EU SILC and ESS 2010.
  • Privatization and the postsocialist fertility decline

    Scheiring, Gabor; Hui, Bryant; Irdam, Darja; Azarova, Aytalina; Fodor, Éva; Stuckler, David; Esping-Andersen, Gosta; King, Lawrence; Department of Gender Studies (Political Economy Research Institute, 2020)
    In this article, we analyze the privatization of companies as a potential but so far neglected,factor behind the postsocialist fertility decline. We test this hypothesis using a novel database,comprising information on the demographic and enterprise trajectories of 52 Hungarian towns,between 1989-2006 and a cross-country dataset of 28 countries in Eastern Europe. We fit fixed,and random-effects models adjusting for potential confounding factors and control for time-variant,factors and common trends. We find that privatization is significantly associated with fertility,decline, explaining approximately half of the overall fertility decline across the 52 towns and the 28 countries.
  • Degree and structures of women's labor market integration: The case of Székesfehérvar, Hungary [FLOWS Working Paper]

    Kispeter, Erika; Redai, Dorottya; Fodor, Éva; Jensen, Per H.; Department of Gender Studies (European ParliamentAalborg, 2014)
    The FLOWS project analyses the causes and effects of women’s labour market integration, which is an issue that represents a major challenge for the European Union and its member states, and is supposedly also a precondition for the sustainability of the European social model. The overall aim is to analyse (1) how local welfare systems support women’s labour market participation, as well as (2) the extent to which (and under which conditions) female labour market integration has contributed to the strengthening social cohesion. The project focuses on how public and private welfare services such as care and lifelong learning intended to support women’s labour market integration have been designed; on how women of different classes, qualifications, ethnicities, and geographical locations have grasped and made use of such policies, and on how the increase in women’s labour market integration has affected structures of inequality and social cohesion.
  • The Policy on Gender Equality in Hungary

    Fodor, Éva; Department of Gender Studies (European ParliamentBrussels, 2011)
    This note reviews gender equality legislation and programs in Hungary in several areas of primary importance for both policy makers and women,themselves. These include the field of paid and unpaid labour, the,reconciliation of paid work and care responsibilities, violence against,women, access to political decision making as well as the existence of,gender stereotypes in Hungarian society.
  • Working conditions and gender in an enlarged Europe

    Pollert, Anna; Fodor, Éva; Department of Gender Studies (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working ConditionsDublin, 2005)
    Working conditions and gender in an enlarged Europe presents a comparative study of working conditions for women in 10 central eastern European countries. The countries include eight of the 10 new Member States of the European Union, and two of the candidate countries, Bulgaria and Romania. National research teams provided a wealth of material analysing key dimensions of the labour market and work situation for women during a period of economic transition. This report’s purpose is threefold: to bring together the findings of the national reports; to explore in greater detail the Foundation data in terms of comparison between its 2001 survey of the acceding and candidate countries and 2000 survey of the EU15; and to use the national reports to evaluate the Foundation findings. 
  • Universal patterns in egocentric communication networks

    Iñiguez, Gerardo; Heydari, Sara; Kertész, János; Saramäki, Jari; Department of Network and Data Science (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2023-08-26)
    Tie strengths in social networks are heterogeneous, with strong and weak ties playing different roles at the network and individual levels. Egocentric networks, networks of relationships around an individual, exhibit few strong ties and more weaker ties, as evidenced by electronic communication records. Mobile phone data has also revealed persistent individual differences within this pattern. However, the generality and driving mechanisms of social tie strength heterogeneity remain unclear. Here, we study tie strengths in egocentric networks across multiple datasets of interactions between millions of people during months to years. We find universality in tie strength distributions and their individual-level variation across communication modes, even in channels not reflecting offline social relationships. Via a simple model of egocentric network evolution, we show that the observed universality arises from the competition between cumulative advantage and random choice, two tie reinforcement mechanisms whose balance determines the diversity of tie strengths. Our results provide insight into the driving mechanisms of tie strength heterogeneity in social networks and have implications for the understanding of social network structure and individual behavior.
  • The development of the conversation skills assessment tool

    Politis, Yurgos; Clemente, Ian; Lim, Zihyun; Sung, Connie; Other Academic Departments (SAGE Publications, 2023)
    Having a conversation with someone or even more within a group of people is complex. We are never taught at school how to do it, which implies we consider having a conversation as something simple and straightforward. Instead, we just learn from observing others. Some people are great conversationalists – it comes naturally to them – while others struggle. Some people may not fully understand how the process works, how turn-taking happens, don’t understand visual cues such as body language and facial expressions, and fail to comprehend that some topics may be appropriate or inappropriate. This can be the case for both neurotypical and neurodivergent people. The Conversation skills Assessment Tool has been developed in this first instance to help in assessing and examining conversation skills in an intervention with young autistic adults on a virtual platform (a virtual world). This paper will present the evolution of the new measure through the exploratory phase, the development phase and finally a detailed account of the inter-rater reliability process.
  • Which pathways to respond to the energy crisis? Recommendations on EU financial instruments

    Bokhorst, David; Lutringer, Christine; Mexi, Maria; Monti, Luciano; Randeria, Shalini; Žarković, Jelena; Other Academic Units (Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development, Albert Hirschman Centre on DemocracyGeneva, 2022)
    At the EU and country levels, debates on the future of the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience (RRPs) and the capacity of existing plans to face the energy crisis have delineated different scenarios. Experts gathered during the Geneva Democracy Week workshop “Programming and managing public funds at time of crises: European scenarios” discussed the implications of the crisis on the management and expenditure of public funds in Europe.
  • Infants’ interpretation of information-seeking actions

    Varga, Bálint; Csibra, Gergely; Kovács, Ágnes Melinda; Department of Cognitive Science (Cognitive Science Society, 2021)
    Although infants can frequently observe others gathering information, it is an open question whether and how they make sense of such activities since the mental causes and intended effects of these are hidden and underdetermined by the available evidence. We tested the hypothesis that infants possess a naive theory that leads them to grasp the purpose of information-gathering actions when they serve as sub-goals of higher-order instrumental goals. We presented 14-month-old infants with actions that were inefficient with respect to the agent’s instrumental goal but could or could not be justified as information-seeking behavior via this theory. We expected longer looks in the condition where the detour could not be justified and the results were in line with our predictions. While this evidence is compatible with our hypothesis, further studies are in progress to rule out alternative interpretations of our findings.
  • Facilitation of object encoding in infants by the observation of giving

    Tatone, Denis; Hernik, Mikołaj; Csibra, Gergely (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021)
    We propose that humans are prepared to interpret giving as a diagnostic cue of reciprocal–exchange relations from infancy. A prediction following from this hypothesis is that infants will represent the identity of an object they see being given, because this information is critical for evaluating potential future reciprocation. Across three looking-time experiments we tested whether the observation of a transfer action induces 12-month-olds to encode the identity of a single object handled by an agent. We found that infants encoded the object identity when the agent gave the object (Experiment 1), but not when she took it (Experiment 2), despite being able to represent the goal of both actions (Experiments 1 and 3). Consistent with our hypothesis, these results suggest that the infants’ representation of giving comprises information necessary for comparing the value of transferred goods across sharing episodes.
  • Infants’ representation of asymmetric social influence

    Bas, Jesús; Sebastian-Galles, Nuria; Csibra, Gergely; Mascaro, Olivier; Department of Cognitive Science (Elsevier BV, 2023)
    In social groups, some individuals have more influence than others, for example, because they are learned from or because they coordinate collective actions. Identifying these influential individuals is crucial to learn about one’s social environment. Here, we tested whether infants represent asymmetric social influence among individuals from observing the imitation of movements in the absence of any observable coercion or order. We defined social influence in terms of Granger causality; that is, if A influences B, then past behaviors of A contain information that predicts the behaviors and mental states of B above and beyond the information contained in the past behaviors and mental states of B alone. Infants (12-, 15-, and 18-month-olds) were familiarized with agents (imitators) influenced by the actions of another one (target). During the test, the infants observed either an imitator who was no longer influenced by the target (incongruent test) or the target who was not influenced by an imitator (neutral test). The participants looked significantly longer at the incongruent test than at the neutral test. This result shows that infants represent and generalize individuals’ potential to influence others’ actions and that they are sensitive to the asymmetric nature of social influence; upon learning that A influences B, they expect that the influence of A over B will remain stronger than the influence of B over A in a novel context. Because of the pervasiveness of social influence in many social interactions and relationships, its representation during infancy is fundamental to understand and predict others’ behaviors.
  • Infants expect agents to minimize the collective cost of collaborative actions

    Mascaro, Olivier; Csibra, Gergely; Department of Cognitive Science (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022)
    This paper argues that human infants address the challenges of optimizing, recognizing, and interpreting collaborative behaviors by assessing their collective efficiency. This hypothesis was tested by using a looking-time study. Fourteen-month-olds (N = 32) were familiarized with agents performing a collaborative action in computer animations. During the test phase, the looking times were measured while the agents acted with various efficiency parameters. In the critical condition, the agents’ actions were individually efficient, but their combination was either collectively efficient or inefficient. Infants looked longer at test events that violated expectations of collective efficiency (p = .006, d = 0.79). Thus, preverbal infants apply expectations of collective efficiency to actions involving multiple agents.

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