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Vortrag: Ungarns Jugend und die radikale Rechte
14. Januar 2019



Young and foolish? Why is the Hungarian Far-right Overrepresented among the Youth?

Presentation by Dr. Dániel Róna with a subsequent discussion

(Vortragssprache: Englisch)

24.01.2019, Bibliothek des Instituts für Demokratieforschung, Weender Landstraße 14

The Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik) easily qualifies as one of the most successful far-right organisations in post-authoritarian Europe. Through its swift rise in popularity and entry to parliament, the ‘movement party’ has been able to alter the Hungarian public discourse and the patterns of party competition, moreover it had significant impact on the government’s policy stances and agenda. At least parts of these effects should be attributed to Jobbik’s popularity amongst the youth; its overrepresentation amongst those aged below 30 is, by now, an established fact within national electoral politics.

The presentation will argue for a broader understanding of youth participation in far-right politics and set two principal goals:

First, to reconstruct the breeding ground of far-right youth activism inside and outside electoral politics, by unveiling potential links between the subcultural, social movement, and party arenas. The presentation will chart the far-right milieus in Hungary and its overlap with Jobbik: thus, it will introduce supply-side factors that contributed to the salient popularity among the youth.

Second, it will seek to investigate Jobbik’s appeal through the role of three motivating elements used to justify joining a particular movement: instrumentality, identity, and ideology. This should in principle clarify whether far-right youth activism can be interpreted as an attempt to change the surrounding environment, to overcome the shortages of socialization, a desire of belonging, and/or an expression of particular views (demand-side factors).

Dr. Dániel Róna will use primary data drawn from face-to-face interviews and focus groups with university and college students, and in-depth interviews with local leaders of Jobbik’s youth organization.

Dr. Dániel Róna completed his PhD in 2014 at Corvinus University of Budapest. He wrote his dissertation about the European far-right parties and, in particular, about Jobbik. As an Assistant Professor, Dániel Róna teaches courses at Corvinus University of Budapest.
Since 2016 he has been the research director of the Jewish organization Action and Protection Foundation. He has had several joint projects and publications with the Medián polling company regarding migration, anti-Semitism and other xenophobic attitudes.
Dániel Róna has also worked for several Hungarian opposition politicians as an analyst and adviser since 2010. He now works for the liberal party called Momentum.
In 2017 Dániel Róna won a three-years Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences: he researches the political socialization of the Hungarian youth. In Fall 2018 he was a visiting researcher at the University of Berkeley, California with the Fulbright-scholarship. His special field of interest is public opinion polling, electoral politics and political sociology.