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The contested politics of positive neutrality in Hungary

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States treat churches differently even where legal frameworks stipulate neutrality. Next to demographic and historic factors, the differences between the statuses of the churches can best be explained by the dynamics of contemporary politics. The article shows that differences between the Hungarian churches in terms of their level of privilege are related to their interactions with political actors and to their own political actions. Hungarian churches are deeply politicised: they are deeply affected by political conflict and often become players in the political field. Although they are granted privileges by the state in return for the legitimacy they provide, the space for the provision of religious legitimacy is, itself, largely created by the politicians.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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