Hungary has been one of the more promising countries of Eastern Europe to make the transition from a Communist polity and economy to democracy and market capitalism. While the transition has not been smooth--economic pain paved the way for the socialists to return to power, and complexities or snags in legislation and procedure have made political institutions run less than smoothly--Hungary still exhibits successful institution building. While political actors regularly fight and coalitions and splits have occurred, there is little threat of political instability, and Socialists have not tried to turn back the clock on democracy or the free market.

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