Gerő M., Pokornyi Zs., Sik E., Surányi R. (2023) The impact of narratives on policy-making at the national level: the case of Hungary, BRIDGES Working Paper No. 22.

Gerő, Márton, Zsanett Pokornyi, Endre Sik, and Ráchel Surányi. 2023. “The impact of narratives on policy-making at the national level. The case of Hungary” BRIDGES Working Papers 22.

This Working Paper analyses the main narratives of migration in Hungary and describes the structure into which the processes of producing and circulating them characterizes the contemporary Hungarian communicative and political segments.

To do that, it first seeks to define the type of political system present in Hungary. Then, it explores the production and circulation of migration related narratives since 2015, proving that there is a rather sophisticated propaganda organization and technology (the moral panic button, MPB) which makes sure that these processes serve the operation of the political system.

The analysis demonstrates that MPB used the production and circulation of migration narratives both in 2015 and in 2022 as a crucial aspect of building the Hungarian version of an authoritarian regime (the so called informational autocracy). The report stresses that the capture of entire communication field was an inherent element of this de-democratization process, and that while several techniques of MPB exist in other countries as well, the unique mix of them and their high-inertia existence makes Hungary an outlier in the comparative analysis.