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Photo: “Election 2018 in Hungary. Taken on the 8th of April, 2018, around 23.35. Bálna, Budapest. Orbán Viktor announcing the victory of the FIDESZ party.“, by Elekes Andor licensed under CC-BY-SA-4.0. Hue modified from the original.

Kondor, Katherine. “A Commentary on the So-Called Defense of Christian Europe: The Fidesz Party’s Response to the Migration Crisis in Hungary.” Hungarian Studies Review 49, no. 1 (2022): 93-105.


This essay examines the issue of migration in Hungary since 2015, focusing in particular on the way in which Viktor Orbán and the Fidesz government have mobilized populist fears of a migrant invasion as a key trope in their efforts to construct an illiberal state, and how in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis in Afghanistan, they have continued to capitalize on populist (mis)conceptions of the so-called migrant crisis in the lead-up to the 2022 elections. Beginning with a description of Fidesz as a populist radical-right party, the essay examines Orbán’s response to the migration crisis in summer 2015 and concludes with an analysis of official Fidesz social media posts over a two-week period in September 2021. Confident in its self-proclaimed historical mission, Fidesz has used the perceived migrant crisis not only to argue that the liberal policies of the European Union are a threat to the future of European culture and civilization, but also to position itself as the protector of Hungary, and of Christian Europe more generally.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.