This article examines the problematic phenomenon of political naming through conceptual history. It is evident that illiberal is an ambiguous term and determining what it means is challenging, not to mention the political aspects of the name itself. We claim that naming is a political act par excellence and test our hypothesis by examining Viktor Orbán's Băile Tuşnad speeches between 2014 and 2019 and the annual State of the Nation speeches between 2015 and 2020. We claim that even Orbán has difficulties in naming his political system. Moreover, we link naming to discussions concerning democracy. In Hungary, this “illiberal” position enables a ruling party to act in accordance with a purely majoritarian form of democracy, that is, to implement legislation with very little regard to the opposition, and by concentrating power to the party and especially to its leader.
Heino Nyyssönen is an Adjunct Professor, Senior Lecturer and Political Scientist in the Department of Philosophy, Contemporary History and Political Science at the University of Turku. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jussi Metsälä is a Doctoral Researcher in International Relations at the Faculty of Management and Business at Tampere University. E-mail: email@example.com