"One scandal follows the other in our politics…" The Role of Corruption Cases in Hungarian Political Life (1903–1913)

"V našej politike škandál za škandálom nasleduje..." Korupčné škandály v politickom živote v Uhorsku (1903-1913)

The domestic affairs of Hungary in the first decades of the twentieth century can be described as a series of intertwining corruption scandals. The study gives a joint analysis of four major cases during the years between 1903 and 1913. It examines the reason for the increase in the number of scandals and the way public sins became the central themes of the political agenda at the turn of the century. By looking at the anatomy of scandals the study offers a general overview of how the world of politics has altered in the twentieth century and how the politicising techniques characteristic of the modern age worked. The author examines six aspects in more detail: (1) timing of scandals; (2) actors (initiators, targets); (3) typical reasons of the scandals (e.g. secret party funds, conflict of interest, trafficking of influence); (4) strategies of the actors (e.g. personalisation, discrediting, publication of the cases, vs. elimination, neutralization); (5) staging of the scandal (Where is the main place of the political drama?); (6) consequences (e. g. new and stricter press law, journalist as a scapegoat; crisis of the political system).