Balázs Böcskei: Policy innovations shaping political decisions: The Case of the Overhead Reduction Initiative in Hungary

Biblio: Böcskei Balázs (2016): Overheads Reduction: Policy Change as a Political Innovation. EUROPEAN QUARTERLY OF POLITICAL ATTITUDES AND MENTALITIES 5 (3) pp. 70-89. 

Language: english

Abstract: Overhead reduction was the most salient policy topic in Hungary in 2013-14. The centre-right Fidesz-led government decreed cuts to residential costs in the form of price freezes and reductions several times before and after the national and local elections in 2014. By applying the topic coding system of CAP, a case study of policy-politics transition is presented. It is shown that the policy innovation of overhead reduction stemmed from the issues narrative richness, and potential for electoral politics. The paper accepts the notion that the high prices of public services led to genuine dissatisfaction with the status quo by the electorate. It was Fidesz party communication, however, that turned this latent anxiety into a political issue by capturing the public opinion, media and policy agenda based on the government’s control over resources.