Hungary: The Enemy is Everywhere

Tóth, Tamás and Ujlaki, Anna (2023) Hungary: The Enemy is Everywhere. In: Leadership in the Time of Covid. CEU Press, Wien, Austria, pp. 127-154. ISBN 978-963-386-645-0

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The chapter provides a case study of how the Orbán government in Hungary dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. It examines the government's response to the pandemic using a five-point framework and provides a discourse analysis of Viktor Orbán's crisis communication during the pandemic. The main findings of the chapter show that the regime turned the exogenous shock into a political game in which it used the crisis to further constrain its political opponents and channeled the pandemic into the narrative of the fight against 'illegal migration'. The chapter also shows how the less divisive announcements were communicated directly by the Prime Minister, while the more divisive announcements were communicated by the so-called Operative Board or other political actors. The findings also show that transparency in communication has decreased over time, that there have been several attempts by the government to withhold pandemic data, and that experimental decision-making in times of crisis is less pronounced in hybrid regimes such as Hungary. The second part of the chapter provides a discourse analysis of fifty-one speeches by Viktor Orbán between March 2020 and February 2021. The results show that nationalism was the most common thematic category in the prime minister's speeches, followed by economy and populism. In addition, people centrism is the dominant feature of Orbán’s populist style, which is based on implicit populism.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences / társadalomtudományok > H Social Sciences (General) / társadalomtudomány általában
H Social Sciences / társadalomtudományok > HM Sociology / társadalomkutatás
J Political Science / politológia > JA Political science (General) / politológia általában
J Political Science / politológia > JF Political institutions (General) / politikai intézmények, államigazgatás általában
J Political Science / politológia > JF Political institutions (General) / politikai intézmények, államigazgatás általában > JF1338 Public administration / közigazgatás
Depositing User: Anna Ujlaki
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2024 12:48
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2024 12:48

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