“Protect our homeland!” Populist communication in the 2018 Hungarian election campaign on Facebook


  • Tamás Tóth Corvinus University of Budapest
  • Dalma Kékesdi-Boldog Corvinus University of Budapest
  • Tamás Bokor Corvinus University of Budapest
  • Zoltán Veczán Corvinus University of Budapest




populism in Hungary, social media, political communication, campaign rhetoric, populist communication, Hungarian parliamentary campaign in 2018


The research presented in this paper is based on analysis of the Facebook posts of five major Hungarian political parties over the course of the official campaign season leading up to the 2018 parliamentary elections. We conducted a mixed-method analysis on 795 Facebook posts. First, the main topics of the parties were collected. Second, the posts of the parties were analyzed from a populist communicational perspective. Third, we tried to find some correlations between the basic topics and the populist communicational categories. Finally, we outline possible differences and similarities between parties’ communication. Our analysis shows that opposition parties did not have a common communicational strategy on Facebook while ruling parties emphasized both inner and exterior threats that could destabilize Hungary.

Author Biographies

Tamás Tóth, Corvinus University of Budapest

Tamás Tóth is a PhD candidate at the Doctoral School of Social Communication of Budapest Corvinus University, Hungary. His primary research field is populist political communication on Facebook and Twitter. In his PhD thesis he studies the possible similarities and differences between Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s tweeting strategy (from a rhetorical perspective) during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Recently he started a study on religious leaders’ Twitter accounts in order to trace their populist communication on the web.

Dalma Kékesdi-Boldog, Corvinus University of Budapest

Dalma Kékesdi-Boldog is a PhD candidate at the Doctoral School of Social Communication of Budapest Corvinus University, Hungary. Her research interest is the information policy of the state-socialist Hungary, especially the communication of the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. She is a book review editor of the Hungarian-language media studies quarterly Médiakutató (The media researcher).

Tamás Bokor, Corvinus University of Budapest

Tamás Bokor, PhD, media researcher and trainer, adjunct professor at Corvinus University of Budapest. His main field of interest is the social impacts and ethics of new media and its usage.

Zoltán Veczán, Corvinus University of Budapest

Zoltán Veczán is a PhD candidate at the Doctoral School of Social Communication of Budapest Corvinus University, Hungary. His main research fields are the cultural mechanisms of Internet memes and their effects on narratives of public life and people’s attitudes towards these narratives.


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How to Cite

Tóth, T., Kékesdi-Boldog, D., Bokor, T., & Veczán, Z. (2019). “Protect our homeland!” Populist communication in the 2018 Hungarian election campaign on Facebook . Central European Journal of Communication, 12(2(23), 169-186. https://doi.org/10.19195/1899-5101.12.2(23).4