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The Editors

Why George Soros Rattles Hungary’s Leader

Academic freedom and civil society make it hard to build a one-party state.
Caught in the crossfire.

Caught in the crossfire.

Photographer: Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government likes to portray its conflict with Central European University as a mere bureaucratic dispute. It is not. Orban’s campaign against the university and its founder, George Soros, carries a darker cast.

Some background: In April, Hungary’s parliament passed a law requiring that all foreign universities -- CEU is based in Budapest but incorporated in New York state -- also have campuses in their home countries. CEU has made just such an arrangement with Bard College in New York, but the Hungarian government refuses to recognize it. Last month, instead of certifying CEU’s compliance, the Hungarian government extended the deadline to 2019. The university now faces a year of uncertainty over its future.