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ECPR Futures Lab 2020

Euroscepticism in Hungary – The Power of Narratives

Europe (Central and Eastern)
Comparative Politics
Political Leadership
Political Parties
Krisztina Arato
Eötvös Loránd University
Krisztina Arato
Eötvös Loránd University

Post-2010 governments in Hungary being not only critical about the European Union but talking about it as Hungary’s „other” is a phenomenon to be analysed in the framework of Euroscepticism.
My analysis belongs to the interpretive school of political science. Interpretive approaches in political science argue that human behaviour, as well as political action, is based beliefs and preferences. When people make a certain (political) choice, they do so because they share the values of the selected party, or they think that their choice will add to their well-being or the well-being of their community. However, these preferences, and, more importantly, the beliefs behind these preferences can hardly be identified based on sociological data (income status, education, nationality, etc.) The interpretive school of political science argues that we can reconstruct ways of thinking that (of course not as an only factor) influence political action on the basis of what people say – the narratives, the discourse.
In order to analyse Eurosceptic arguments in the Hungary within the interpretive framework of the approach of political science, I use the concept of myths. In the first part of my article, I collect the main features of political myths as a theoretical framework for my argument. In the second section, I explore the current myths and their challenges in the contemporary European Union. In the third part, I identify the pro-European and Eurosceptic arguments in post-accession Hungary and explore how they fit into the myth-countermyth framework within the EU. At the end, I draw some preliminary conclusions.
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