Playing on distance: a relational rhetorical analysis of Viktor Orbán's Euroscepticism

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Viktor Orbán has been a key figure in increasing the role Euroscepticism plays in European integration. By developing a new relational approach to rhetorical political analysis, this article examines how Orbán uses Eurosceptic rhetoric to move the largely pro-EU Hungarian public towards an EU-critical position. By analysing the Hungarian Prime Minister's speeches and interviews, it identifies three strategies of Eurosceptic positioning, political, cultural, and democratic, by which Orbán strategically creates distance between the EU and Hungarian voters regarding the EU's migration policy. Orbán's dynamic positioning expressed through his Eurosceptic rhetoric allows him to be pro- and anti-integrationist simultaneously.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEast European Politics
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2023


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