Short Title


Full Title

How does the mandate of the winner emerge? Mandate interpretation between election and government formation

Brief Description

The aim of the research is to analyze the press after parliamentary elections with the help of a modified version of mandate theory: the approach focusing on the interpretation and perception of mandate. We examine whether victory is interpreted as a mandate, and what factors play a role in this.

Research Period


Research Type

The research is a module of the pledge project

Research Monitoring Body

Internal and external opponents

Project Supervisor

András Körösényi, modul: Balázs Brunczel

Research Manager

Gábor Soós, modul: Brunczel Balázs


Balázs Brunczel




OTKA (Hungarian Scientific Research Fund)

Research Summary

The literature on mandate usually examines whether a sort of sign or message can be found, which comes from the electors to the representatives, parties, or president. Mandate is, thus, examined from the point of view of the “sender”. There are, however, works that approach the topic differently and state that besides sender oriented approaches, recipient oriented approaches are important as well. Accordingly, we have to examine whether politicians or other actors perceive a sort of sign. The emphasis is, thus, on the perception of mandate. This also means that the main question is not whether mandate has emerged, that is, whether electors have really empowered the government to execute a concrete public policy program. Instead, the important thing is whether a belief in mandate really emerges. Beliefs and perceptions themselves can have effects, that is, they influence the behavior of politicians and thus the output of political processes. First we examine what are the differences between this modified interpretation of mandate and the dominant approaches of mandate theory, and what research question are posed by these works. Then, by choosing the most applicable questions from them, we analyze the Hungarian media after parliamentary elections.