Finished projects

  • Political communication in Hungary


The project prepared a lengthy summary of the conditions and trends in Hungarian political communication for the new edition of the most authoritative text book on the political system of Hungary. Gabriella Szabó and Balázs Kiss will present the networks of the Hungarian political communications actors, as well as the current trends, like post-objectivism, performativism and emotionality.

  • Populism in policy discources

Gabriella Szabó participates in the research project titled ‘Fiducia - New European Crimes and Trust-based Policy’ (Link:  which aims to discuss the relationship between populism and policy making. With Zsolt Boda, Attila Bartha, Gergő Medve-Bálint and Zsuzsanna Vidra, Gabriella has conducted a study to explore the discourses of the changes on the penal policy in Hungary that were heavily influenced by populism. Please see the results in Hungarian, here: 

A journal article, titled “Politically Driven: Mapping Political and Media Discourses of Penal Populism - the Hungarian Case” is accepted to be published by the  East European Politics & Societies and Cultures (Acceptance notification: October 2, 2014). Link:

  • Trends in political communication

with the financial support of the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund 2008-2012

The purpose of the work is to summarise the development of the Hungarian political communication after the fall of dictatorship. We highlights the trends of political communications that have arisen in Hungary after the collapse of communist regime (1989). Four main trends have been identified: fragmentation, the multiplication of channels and means, endless amount of arenas, Internet, Web 2.0, fragmentation of content, amateurism in PC; post-objectivity, the end of the requirement of unbiased and balanced coverage, more emphasis on the rise of opinion, on media as community focal point rather than window to the objective reality; the performative turn, the representation of self, a strong focus on act, dramaturgy, and aesthetics; and popularization, the convergence of popular culture and politics, fan democracy, entertaining politics, involvement of citizens, etc.

The article will be published in the October edition of the International Journal of Press/Politics.


  • Research project on Hungarian campaigns

with the financial support of the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund 2008-2012

Our project is aimed at the scientific analysis of the campaigns of the 2006 parliamentary election. The method we are using is largely based on our previous research of the 2004 European Parliamentary election campaigns.
When analysing party campaigns, our primary goal was to make the individual campaigns comparable to each other through criteria which we established relying on international scientific literature. 
The other priority area in the project is the campaign in the different branches of the media that is, television, tabloid press and online publications. A novelty of the current project is that we try to investigate campaigns not only globally, but also on the micro-level: in a few, previously chosen constituencies. Finally, some topics which are in the centre of interest today, such as politicians’ images or various uses of the internet in the campaign are also dealt with: an essay will be devoted to each in the planned book. 

Participants: Balázs Kiss, Zsuzsanna Mihályffy, Gabriella Szabó, Szilvia Horváth,Johanna Molodih, Ákos Németh, Tibor Ördögh, Mónika Péter, Miklós Takács, Bálint Tóth, Márton Ughy and Lili Zentai.


  • The Ages of Political Communication

(with the financial support of the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund, 2005-2008) 

This research project tries to approach the changes in the framework of a transition from modern to post-modern political communication, and raises the question whether current developments can be approached as a transition from ‘modern’ – understood as uniform and homogenizing to ‘post-modern’: fragmented and diverging.   
The project attempts to answer the global question through studying:

  1. the transformation of campaign communication
  2. the transformation of communication of governments
  3. the European public sphere which contributes to the deconstruction of the traditional monopoly of the national political communication

    Participants: Balázs Kiss, Zsuzsanna Mihályffy, Gabriella Szabó
  • EUROJUSTIS (2008 - 2011)

EUROJUSTIS (Scientific Indicators of Confidence in Justice. Tools for Policy Assesment) is a project designed to provide EU institutions and Member States with new indicators for assessing public confidence in justice. The project is funded by the European Community's FP7 activity. In the EUROJUSTIS project we contribute to the work which leads to the evaluation of current social indicators, and instructions for developing new indicators of public confidence in criminal justice. Furthermore, the IPS conducts media analysis which focuses on the media coverage concerning crime and justice-related issues. The leader of IPS team is Zsolt Boda. Gabriella Szabó is the research assistant, and she co-ordinates the work on media coverage. Zsuzsanna Mihályffy and Ágnes Rigó participate in the media analysis. More info at the project website.

  • Community by Controversy: Analysing European Public Sphere via Debating Contraversial Issues

The project examines the creative power of debates in constructing European public sphere. Empirical analyses on European disputes on controversial issues are planned to test the research design and to compare the results provided by the previous study on the Hungarian media laws.

Participant: Szabó Gabriella


  • Global Political Marketing

Balázs Kiss and Zsuzsanna Mihályffy joined a group of researchers working on the comparison of the development of political marketing in fifteen countries in and outside Europe.  The research, coordinated by Jennifer Lees-Marshment, Chris Rudd and Jesper Strömback, will conclude in a volume to be published by Routledge in 2008 or 2009.


  • Government Communication 2.0. The online communication of Hungarian presidency of the Council of European Union

with the financial support of the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund 2008-2012

The aim of the study is to explore the internet-based communication efforts of the Hungarian government as undertaking the task of the presidency of the Council of EU (Jan 1 2011 - Jun 30 2011). Communicating EU Presidency is a unique and special task for government officials, since it has to break through the fall of cacophonic voices in the European Public Sphere (1), it should satisfy audiences with extremely different backgrounds (2), and it simultaneously supposed to be official but trendy and attractive too (3) within a very limited timeframe (4). The platforms of web 2.0 are suggested to be perfect for information sharing, mobilisation, building two-way communication lines, collecting feedbacks and cultivating images beyond national and cultural borders. This research assesses the experience of the Hungarian EU Presidency as a case study to evaluate to what extent web 2.0, with its participatory and conversational culture, has conquered government communications’ management in a certain period of time and context. With this analysis, our aim is to contribute to the discussions on whether new generation of ICTs revolutionises politics by reshaping communicative rules and sets new academic agenda for future works.  The results are published here:

Szabó Gabriella (2014). GOVCOM 2.0: The role of web 2.0 in communicating EU Presidency. In: Agnieszka Stepinska (ed): Media and Communication in Europe. Berlin: Logos Verlag, 2014. pp. 113-130. (ISBN:978-3-8325-3680-0)