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Other research product . 2021

Hungary: Illiberal crisis management

Merkovity, Norbert; Bene, Márton; Farka, Xénia;
Published: 01 Jan 2021
Publisher: Routledge
Country: Hungary

The Hungarian government’s crisis management fit well the illiberal logic of the current regime. It was characterized by strong leadership of Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán who personally controlled the first wave of fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. His unquestionable leadership was further reinforced by a controversial law that provoked intense internal and international criticism. These criticisms were used by the progovernment camp to present that the government and PM struggle for the safety of Hungarian people is under constant political attack of the liberal and global enemies of the regime. During the crisis similar discursive strategies were used as usual in Hungarian politics: the threat of immigration, the decline of the Western world and the EU, the adversarial role of George Soros, the Hungarian opposition, the media and the international liberal mainstream, and the effectiveness of nation-states were recurring topics during the crisis. Overall, the country was less affected by the virus, and according to the polls people positively evaluate the crisis management.

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