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Gendering the European Parliament

Far-Right Activism in Hungary: Youth Participation in Jobbik and its Network

Political Parties
Social Movements
Andrea L. P. Pirro
Scuola Normale Superiore
Andrea L. P. Pirro
Scuola Normale Superiore
Daniel Rona
Corvinus University of Budapest

The Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik) qualifies as one of the most successful far-right organisations in contemporary Europe. Through its swift rise in popularity and entry to parliament, the ‘movement party’ has been able to alter the Hungarian public discourse, existing patterns of party competition, additionally exerting effects on the government’s policy agenda. At least part of these effects should be attributed to Jobbik’s popularity among the youth; its overrepresentation among those aged below 30 is, by now, an established fact within national politics. The article argues for a broader understanding of youth participation in far-right politics and sets two principal research goals. First, to reconstruct the breeding ground of far-right youth activism at the grassroots level, by unveiling potential links between the subcultural, social movement, and party arenas. The study charts far-right milieus in Hungary and their overlap with Jobbik: thus, it introduces supply-side factors that contributed to its popularity among the youth. Second, we investigate Jobbik’s appeal through the role of different elements used to justify joining a particular movement. The article uses primary data drawn from interviews and focus groups with students, and in-depth interviews with leaders of Jobbik.
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