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Campaign-Personalization and Constituency Focus in a Mixed-Member Electoral System. The Case of Hungary

  • Zsófia Papp EMAIL logo
From the journal World Political Science


The aim of this paper is to uncover the micro-factors structuring campaign personalization in the case of Hungarian Members of Parliament. It is presumed that in a party-centred environment, the effects of the various independent characteristics are filtered by the parties. Thus, due to the electoral rules, personalization cannot contradict party centeredness. Representatives do not wish to distance themselves from their parties. Personalization is more of the result of the positions they hold or wish to fill in than the desire to defy party lines out of individualistic motivations. Based on the data from the 2010 MP-survey of the Hungarian Election Study, the article unveils the circumstances under which campaign personalization prevails. The international scholarly literature sets several hypotheses with regards to the factors influencing three dimensions of campaign personalization (norms, means and agenda), out of which several will be tested in this article. The analysis concludes that even under party-centred circumstances, the role of individual motivations and habits cannot be overlooked in defining the degree of personalization, nevertheless the interpretation of such effects requires caution.

Original reference: Papp, Zsófia (2013). “Kampányperszonalizáció Magyarországon a képviselők szemével. Személy-és választókerület-központúság pártközpontú választási rendszerekben”, Politikatudományi Szemle.

Corresponding author: Zsófia Papp, 30 Országház utca, 1014 Budapest, Hungary, e-mail:


This research was supported by OTKA grant K106220. I would like to express my gratitude to Gabriella Ilonszki for her comments to the first draft of this paper, Gergő Medve-Bálint for his comments and assistance in proof-reading, as well as my colleagues at the Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences for sharing their views on this analysis. As usual, all remaining shortcomings are my responsibility.


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Article note

The article relies on the author’s unpublished PhD dissertation Legislators’ constituency orientation under party-centred electoral rules. Evidence from Hungary (Papp 2013).

Published Online: 2015-4-14
Published in Print: 2015-4-1

©2015 by De Gruyter

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