George Soros

Hungary: Showdown of 'illiberal state' vs. 'open society'

Hungary's effort to close Central European University, founded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros in 1991, is another step in Prime Minister Viktor Orban's plan to transform his country into an "illiberal state," a narrower view of democracy which contrasts with the "open society" ideals promoted globally by Soros.

A law rushed through parliament on Tuesday sets new conditions for the 28 foreign universities operating in Hungary. Some of the requirements — such as carrying out teaching activities in their home countries — are seen specifically targeting CEU, which does not have an American campus. CEU is accredited in New York state and Hungary and its...