Illiberal Relations: The Individual, the State and the Dignity of Communities under the Hungarian and Slovak Constitutions

János Fiala-Butora

ORCID: János Fiala-Butora: 0000-0001-9041-5397

Pages: 57-77

Edition: Lublin 2017

DOI: --

Abstract: The paper focuses on the conceptualization of personhood and constitutionally protected groups, as well as the relationship between the individual and the state, in particular the ethno-cultural majority in two European Union (EU) member states showing illiberal tendencies, Hungary and Slovakia. The authors show how in Hungary, the recognition of individual dignity is conditional on membership in the (most often majority) community, and it is the dignity of communities—not exclusively but including that of the ethnic majority community—that is protected by the new constitution. The Slovak case study focuses on the protection of the Slovak language as a form of protecting the Slovak nation. The analysis shows how a constitutional order considering majority identities its highest value is undermining the protection of fundamental rights in the long run. In this sense, the Slovak example shows what the Hungarian illiberal1 turn can lead to.


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