Conceptualizing ’hate speech’

Short Title


Full Title

Conceptualizing 'hate speech' in the Hungarian political discourse 1994-2004

Brief Description

The research aims to examine the different uses and interpretations of the ambigous concept 'gyűlöletbeszéd' (hate speech) in the Hungarian political discourse.

Research Period


Research Type

Individual research

Project Supervisor

Dr. Márton Szabó

Research Manager

Gábor Pál


Gábor Pál


Gábor Pál

Research Summary

The question, of what 'gyűlöletbeszéd' (hate speech) is, and what the effecive policy on this phenomenon may be have been highly debated topics in Hungarian publicity since System Change. In the 1990s the Hungarian equivalent of the American-English term 'hate speech' became a fashionable word in the discourse of social scientists and intellectuals. Around the year 2000 the phrase got out from the range of essays and conferences; it gained ground in printed and electronic media, in weekly and daily papers as well as in formal politics. It would not be an exaggeration to reveal, that in the early 2000’s the concept of 'gyűlöletbeszéd' functioned as a key category, as a centre of the Hungarian public discourse. The ambigous concept didn’t just enabled, but pronouncedly catalysed the emergence of different uses and interpretations. The controversy on the (and/or framed by the) concept reached its peak in 2003-2004. The aims of the research project are to examine these political contests, to analyze the different conceptions and conceptualizations figured, to identify the main functions of the debating process, and to describe the objective both as a discursive interplay and as a policy issue arena.