Hungary Insight

Road to Kossuth Square #4 – History, politics and the art of constructing narratives

Hungarians will go to the polls on April 3 to decide who will represent them in parliament in the next 4 years. Every week until the election, in our podcast Road to Kossuth Square, we discuss and analyse the issues dominating Hungarian politics and the most recent events of the campaign.

How did March 15, which marks the anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, come to be so dominated by party politics? In this week’s episode, we are discussing History and Hungarian politics. What intellectual traditions do the respective political blocs belong to and How do Fidesz and the Opposition use history and collective memory to further their cause and construct narratives?  

As the campaign reaches the crucial final two weeks, we’ll also be discussing the two political rallies on March 15 and talk about what they might tell us about the state of the contest at the moment.

Our guest this week is Ferenc Laczó, who is an intellectual Historian at Maastricht University.

Road to Kossuth Square is a limited series hosted by the head of Kafkadesk’s Budapest Office, Ábel Bede. Each episode will concern an issue that influenced Hungarian politics in the past decade as well as the most important events of the campaign from the respective week.

In our first episode, we discussed Hungary’s foreign policy and the country’s relationship with the EU and the V4. We also spoke about the reaction of Fidesz, the United Opposition, and the Hungarian public to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our guest was foreign-policy journalist and V4 specialist, Gergő Illés, who is a contributor to Hungarian-language European affairs newsletter, Gemist.

In our second episode, we spoke about the relationship between Hungarian politics and the Church, and how Christianity came to play such a prominent role in the politics of Hungary, one of the least religious countries in Europe. Our guest was freelance journalist Alex Faludy.

In the following episode, we looked at the origins, challenges, and influence of the Hungarian New Left with Csaba Tibor Tóth, a left-wing journalist at Mérce.

By Ábel Bede

Ábel Bede was born in Budapest and has two degrees in History from Durham University. He specialised in Central Europan history and has been contributing to Kafkadesk since 2019. Feel free to check out more of his articles right here!