The article attempts to make sense of recent developments in Hungary’s relationship with the EU and the US by explicating the logic behind the formation of its post-Cold War identity. The article’s central theoretical argument derives from social identity theory (SIT) in social psychology which argues that social groups strive for positive distinctiveness and provides concrete hypotheses concerning the identity management strategies that groups use to enhance their relative position. Extrapolating the identity management techniques predicted by SIT to international politics, I suggest that states may enhance their relative standing by imitating more advanced states (strategy of social mobility), trying to displace the higher-ranked state (strategy of social competition), or finding a new arena in which to be superior (strategy of social creativity). The article argues that Orban’s government post- 2010 steps in domestic and foreign policy can be conceptualized as attempts to redefine Hungary’s identity by moving away from the strategy of social mobility pursued since the end of communism towards the strategy of social creativity.

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