MORES project: Moral emotions in politics: How they unite, how they divide

How can society cope with politicians' divisive rhetoric that exploits anger, contempt, or pride, and engage in rational deliberation, all without causing citizens to emotionally disengage from democratic institutions? 

To unravel the role of morals, values, and emotions in shaping societal politics and provide resources to strengthen democracy, the HUN-REN Centre for Social Sciences (HUN-REN CSS) has embarked on a far-reaching three-year research initiative. This ambitious endeavour, the MORES project (Moral Emotions in Politics: How They Unite, How They Divide), constitutes a collective effort among nine European organizations, with HUN-REN CSS taking the lead role (see the consortium members below.) MORES receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme. 

Rooted in the success of its predecessor, the EU H2020 RIA project DEMOS – Democratic Efficacy and the Varieties of Populism in Europe (2018 – 2022), also coordinated by HUN-REN CSS, MORES understands moral emotions as emotional responses tied to the broader interests or well-being of society. For instance, when an individual feels anger over politicians’ behaviour that is considered morally wrong or unjust, it is classified as a moral emotion. Other emotions, such as shame, pride, regret, or guilt, can also become moral emotions. MORES argues that these emotions can both unite and divide society. 

By delineating how moral emotions affect people’s political identities and politics, MORES will equip policymakers, civil society groups, and citizens with knowledge and tools to counter the type of politics that splits society into antagonistic groups. MORES will draft recommendations to EU-level decision-makers on how policies can resonate with the emotional needs of citizens, all while upholding evidence-based facts and democratic standards. 

Zsolt Boda, MORES’s project coordinator and principal investigator, will lead a team of distinguished researchers from several of HUN-REN CSS’s institutes taking part in the project. These include Gabriella SzabóAttila BarthaEszter FarkasAttila GyulaiAndrás KörösényiRudolf Metz, Bendegúz Plesz, Gábor Polyák, and Orsolya Ring. Apart from coordinating project tasks and managing the consortium, HUN-REN CSS assumes pivotal roles in research-driven tasks and in driving the project’s impacts on society in collaboration with its partners. 

Project duration: January 1, 2024 – December 31, 2026 

Partner institutions:  

More about MORES 

The MORES project official website will be launched in June 2024.  

Contact information: 

  • Dr Zsolt Boda, Principal Investigator and Project Coordinator: Boda.Zsolt(at) 
  • Vinicius Gorczeski, Communications and Impact Manager: Vinicius.Gorczeski(at) 
  • Henriett Pálfi, Project Manager: Henriett.Palfi(at)