Balázs Böcskei – Dániel Mikecz: The Agenda-setting Potential of Hungarian Political Protests

Abstract: Basically two major popular narratives exist when it comes to social movements and political protest in Central Eastern Europe. On the one hand, the relatively low level of political participation in CEE justifies the ‘weakness of civil society’ and the ‘lack of democratic traditions’ theses, which also implies, that political protest has low or no impact in these countries. In fact social movements and political protests are common in everyday CEE politics despite the low level of political participation. However, in the CEE countries the direct success or failure of large scale mobilizations, selected cases and mostly alternative activist networks have been researched. This paper discusses the impact of media-represented demonstrations of 1998-2010 on the parliamentary agenda, more specifically on the interpellations. We distinguished five main topics (far-right issues, women’s rights and LGBT rights issues, agricultural issues, social policy issues, environmental issues), in which we only analysed the cases when a significantly rising number of protest events was followed by a growing number of interpellations on the same subject.

Language: english