Under Siege: Counter-Terrorism Policy and Civil Society in Hungary

Romaniuk, Scott (2018) Under Siege: Counter-Terrorism Policy and Civil Society in Hungary. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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Immediately after the 9/11 attacks the US launched a macro-securitization program to combat terrorism and included government counter-terrorism measures (CTMs) that impeded on human rights and civil liberties globally. Scholarship has recently turned to the study of CTMs and their effects on civil society organizations (CSOs). This study analyzes the relationship between CTMs and CSOs in Hungary from 2010-2018. First, it examines Hungary’s security milieu, including the formation and implementation of Hungary’s CT laws, polices, and institutions, and the terrorism landscape. Second, it analyzes the effects of CTMs on CSOs and state-civil society relations. The study uses an exploratory and explanatory research design, and mixed methods of data collection and analysis. Using purposive sampling, 240 questionnaires were analyzed across four CSO categories: peacebuilding, development, human rights advocacy, and humanitarianism. Coded data is used from 70 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with CSO officers, security agents, military personnel, legal experts, politicians, and security, civil society, and development scholars. Secondary sources include: books, articles, and grey literature. Using Chi Square and Pearson Product-Moment Correlation at p≤0.05, the former determines if CSOs were pressured to join government CTMs whereas the latter establishes whether CTMs negatively impacted CSOs’ operational capacities. Descriptive statistics is used to analyze demographic data and ascertain CSOs’ level of support or rejection of government CTMs. The findings reveal that CTMs grant the state exceptional powers that restrict CSO operations. The quantitative findings show that CSOs were pressured into joining government CTMs (X2 = 220.919). Government CTMs have negatively affected CSOs’ operational costs (59.1%). The government denies CSOs access to information regarding CTMs (35.9%), thus preventing their involvement in CTM formulation processes and implementation. 72.1% of program officers indicated they do not support government CTMs. The interviews revealed growing mutual suspicion between the government and CSOs in the context of counter-terrorism.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:International Studies
PhD Cycle:XXX
Subjects:Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/04 SCIENZA POLITICA
Funders:Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK)
Repository Staff approval on:19 Jun 2018 11:06

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