Hungarian Nationalism and Effects on Refugee Crisis



King, Meredith Bailey

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The influx of refugees into Europe has placed a burden and created a schism among members of the European Union as to the best way to handle the crisis. Over a million people have flowed into Europe and are in desperate need of resources. While many European Union member states, such as Germany, accept these refugees with open arms, Hungary has stalled and fought back since the beginning of the refugee crisis in March 2015. There have been two internationally publicized incidents with Hungarian police forces clashing with refugees, and Hungary has built a 13 foot, 109 mile long, barbed wire fence along its borders to ensure the refugees cannot come into the country. The fact that Hungary has denied entry for the refugees while other European Union member states accept them, has created a problem among the European Union and created tension between the European Commission and Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán. The main justifications that Hungary makes for not accepting the refugees are: security, and preservation of culture including their Christian heritage. While Hungary has faced international criticism for its refugee policies, I will analyze how the Hungarian citizens feel about these policies. The two biggest political parties pushing for these policies of exclusion are Fidesz, which has the majority in Parliament and is also the party of Orbán, and Jobbik, which is the third largest party in Parliament, and has often been linked to extremist right-wing terroristic activities. I will examine the manifestos of both political parties to look for mentions of security, Christianity, and other keywords that would link and explain the exclusionist policies. Looking at various documents such as the Hungarian Constitution, written by Orbán in 2011, and public opinion polls about the policies to, I seek to determine how the public feels about the refugee crisis depending on what their political affiliation is. Using content analysis, I will search for keywords and determine themes that are common between the party manifestos and public discourse to determine what the future may look like in the fight between Hungary and the European Union. I will also bring in theories of conflict to explain the justification and finding of the policies.



Fidesz, Jobbik, Refugee crisis, Christianity, Nationalism