Constructing Political Leadership during the 2015 European migration crisis: The Hungarian case

  1. Balázs Kiss
  2. Gabriella Szabó



The article introduces a discursive-interactive approach in the analysis of political leaders’ communication during the 2015 ‘European migration crisis’ in Hungary. We argue that a leader is successful in a popularity race if s/he constructs a situation and handles it in a specific way, in a style which voters prefer. Neither the situation, nor the citizens’ requirements, not even the leader’s communication style is pre-given: they are parts and products of constitutive interactions. In the main part of the article, we examine the constructions of the crisis about migration and, in parallel, the self-constructions by Viktor Orbán, Ferenc Gyurcsány and Gábor Vona as the CIP model of leadership indicates. Then, we present the opinion poll results on the popularity of the three politicians’ parties and also on the issue of migration. Our findings suggest that the more diverse leadership a politician constructs, the more support s/he gains from the citizens.


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Central European Journal of Communication

Vol. 11, No 1 (20), Spring 2018

Pages from 9 to 24

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