‘Polish, Hungarian, Cousins Be’: Comparative Discourse on Muslims and the Refugee Crisis in Europe

Katarzyna Górak-Sosnowska

ORCID: Katarzyna Górak-Sosnowska: 0000-0002-1121-6240

Pages: 141-158

Edition: Lublin 2018

DOI: --

Citation method: Katarzyna Górak-Sosnowska, Irina Molodikova, ‘‘Polish, Hungarian, Cousins Be’: Com-parative Discourse on Muslims and the Refugee Crisis in Europe’, Yearbook of the Institute of East-Central Europe, Vol. 16, No. 5, 2018, pp. 141-158.

Abstract: Hungary and Poland used to have much in common, as the saying in the title suggests. Yet, it seems that in recent years, this phrase has acquired new meaning as both countries became enfants terrible in EU politics. One of the earliest and most significant indicators of this change was their stance towards Muslims and refugees during the 2014 crisis in Europe. The paper analyses how the similar historical development in both countries and ethnic interests shaped their domestic and international policy towards symbolic and real benefits from the crisis even though the refugees in Hungary left at the beginning of 2016 and Poland had not even been touched by it. For that purpose, the political and social discourse on Muslims and the refugee crisis in Hungary and Poland were compared. Interestingly, both countries lack any significant Muslim or refugee communities and so their anti-Muslim and antirefugee sentiments have to be framed around an EU narrative. Thus, Hungarian and Polish membership in the EU seems to be modulated in relation to the refugee crisis and European Muslim communities and used to further the national political agenda.


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