What Makes Authoritarian Capitalism Authoritarian? The Double Erosion of the Private-Public Divide in Illiberal Hungary

47 Pages Posted: 17 May 2019

See all articles by Dorottya Sallai

Dorottya Sallai

University of Greenwich

Gerhard Schnyder

Loughborough University London - Institute for International Management; University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research; King's College London

Date Written: April 17, 2019

Abstract

For several decades, the Business and Society literature has mainly focused on the retreat of the state from the economy in Western countries since the 1980s. As a result, the “return of the state” as an economic actor, especially in emerging markets, has left scholars without the necessary tools to capture this trend of the “politicization of the economic.” Thus, we argue that current conceptualizations of state-dominated systems as “authoritarian capitalism” too easily lump together countries as diverse as China, Singapore, and Norway under this heading. Rather than considering any type of state intervention in the economy as authoritarian, we propose a more sophisticated conceptualization of the extension of the political into the economic, which allows us to clearly distinguish cases of “state capitalism” from “authoritarian capitalism.” We apply our framework to the case of Hungary to illustrate that a more precise definition of “authoritarian capitalism” makes it a useful tool to understand contexts beyond the Chinese case in which it first emerged. Based on interviews with business leaders in Hungary under Viktor Orbán’s government, we identify the mechanisms by which an authoritarian government expands the political into the economic realm, eroding the public-private divide; moving thus from “democratic backsliding” into “economic backsliding.”

Keywords: Authoritarian capitalism, State capitalism, Political CSR, state-business relationships, post-socialism

JEL Classification: P16, P26, H13

Suggested Citation

Sallai, Dorottya and Schnyder, Gerhard, What Makes Authoritarian Capitalism Authoritarian? The Double Erosion of the Private-Public Divide in Illiberal Hungary (April 17, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3373637 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3373637

Dorottya Sallai (Contact Author)

University of Greenwich ( email )

Old Royal Naval College
30 Park Row
London, SE10 9LS
United Kingdom
+44(0)2083319198 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dorottyasallai

Gerhard Schnyder

Loughborough University London - Institute for International Management ( email )

Lesney Avenue
Here East
London, E15 2GZ
Great Britain
+44 (0)20 3805 1360 (Phone)

University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research ( email )

Judge Business School Building
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom
++44 (0)1223 765325 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/people/research-associates/gerhard-schnyder/

King's College London ( email )

150 Stamford Street
London, SE1 9NN
United Kingdom
++44 (0)20 7848 4633 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/sspp/mgmt/people/academic/schnyder/

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
11
Abstract Views
106
PlumX Metrics