The Hungarian post-communist welfare state was created under the neoliberal influence of international organisations while retaining lots of elements of solidarity. The growing social tensions in the mid-2000s due to a second economic crisis in the new millennium led first the left then the right wing governments to shift the post-communist welfare state into a punitive type of workfare system. The article concludes that the political populism of the mid-2000s leading to an undemocratic governance by the 2010s better explains this paradigm shift than e as many authors argue — the neoliberal influence frame.

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