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The (re)institutionalization of hungarian political science

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30 years after the Eastern European transitions it is high time to reappraise the social and political impact of the regime changes. This paper is about how the political science in Hungary institutionalized in 1970s and 1980s. It would be exaggerated to say that politics science or other social sciences in general had a very important role in transition, but at the same time they contributed to creating a regime change atmosphere. The political science in Hungary has been subordinated to politics since the 1980s, that is why despite of adaption of Western European standards it has not developed any critical approaches. The Hungarian political science was integrated as planned into the Socialist-Communist framework from the second half of the 1970s, on the other hand due to the weakening system the scientific elite from other areas of social science constantly widened the boundaries of the system and opened up opportunities for the application of Western political science in Hungary. Political processes overtook political science, and this distance increased after the regime change. I am convinced since the 1970s that political science has been reorganized.

A transcript of lecture held at Openness and Closedness – Culture and Science in Hungary and the Soviet Bloc after Helsinki Conference, 12 June 2019 organized by Institute of Political History, Budapest. http://polhist.hu/programok2/openness-and-closedness-culture-and-science-in-hungary-and-the-soviet-bloc-after-helsinki/

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The (re)institutionalization of hungarian political science

  1. 1. Openness and Closedness – Culture and Science in Hungary and the Soviet Bloc after Helsinki Conference 12 June 2019, Institute of Political History, Budapest THE (RE)INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF HUNGARIAN POLITICAL SCIENCE Attila Antal Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Law Institute of Political Science and Social Theory Research Group at Institute of Political History antal.attila@ajk.elte.hu antalattila.hu
  2. 2. Overview Introduction 1. Antecedents: Early Political Science before World War II 2. The Reorganization of Political Science in the 1970s Conclusions, further research
  3. 3. Introduction Reappraise the social and political impact of the regime changes How the political science in Hungary institutionalized in 1970s and 1980s? A regime change atmosphere Subordinated to politics Political science was integrated as planned into the Socialist-Communist framework Constantly widened the boundaries of the system
  4. 4. 1. Antecedents: Early Political Science before World War II Young political science American Political Science Association (APSA) est. 1903 Philosophy, economics, sociology and law Various traditions of political thinking in the 19th century Political and pamphlet literature Significant authors: Gyula Kautz, Győző Concha, Ignác Kuncz, Ágost Pulszky, Gyula Pikler, Gyula Kornis, Oszkár Jászi, Bódog Somló, Ervin Szabó Juristically and constitutional determined Embedded political science education Ideologically determinations after 1945 Political science as a bourgeois discipline
  5. 5. 2. The Reorganization of Political Science in the 1970s 2.1 The educational and scientific environment before the institutionalization of political science 2.1 The educational and scientific environment before the institutionalization of political science 2.2 The beginning of relief: the opening of Moscow and the relationship between the MSZMP and political science 2.3 The main directions of institutionalization of political science
  6. 6. 2. The Reorganization of Political Science in the 1970s 2.1 The educational and scientific environment before the institutionalization of political science Multisectoral education system has been abolsihed “Needs of people democracy” Marxist-Leninist departments Isolation and then limited reintegration from 1960s Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS): losts scientific and financial autonomy Hungarian Scientific Council (1948) Several new research institutions
  7. 7. 2. The Reorganization of Political Science in the 1970s 2.1 The educational and scientific environment before the institutionalization of political science Re-initialization of the rest of social sciences Difficult to institutionalize and legitimize political science Cooperate and compete with other social sciences Universities have been deprived from the right to award academic titles MSZMP’s Political Committee on Cultural Political Principles (1958) Spreading the Marxist-Leninist ideas Obtaining doctoral title at universities ("small doctorate") was restored (1958) Scholarship opportunities
  8. 8. 2. The Reorganization of Political Science in the 1970s 2.2 The beginning of relief: the opening of Moscow and the relationship between the MSZMP and political science Sensitive "bourgeois" discipline Direct political control and centralization have been weakened, but several restrictions Economic and ideological fight Closer scientific cooperation International Political Science Association (IPSA) held its World Congress in Moscow in 1979 Formalize and legitimize the framework of the early operation of political science
  9. 9. 2. The Reorganization of Political Science in the 1970s 2.2 The beginning of relief: the opening of Moscow and the relationship between the MSZMP and political science Decision of the MSZMP’s Central Committee (1978): HAS was able to establish the Political Science Committee in 1980 Coordination Committee for Social Science The party coordinated social science research at both state and party level Central Committee was aware of the need for significant changes in social science research Enormous and professional problems with Marxist-Leninist education
  10. 10. 2. The Reorganization of Political Science in the 1970s 2.3 The main directions of institutionalization of political science Political science neither had a background in higher education nor a professional organization system The professional and academic network of political science and institutionalize in higher education the Department of Science, Public Education and Culture of the MSZMP’s Central Committee (1982): the establishment of the Hungarian Political Science Association (MPTT) Diplomatic aspect to institutionalize political science
  11. 11. 2. The Reorganization of Political Science in the 1970s 2.3 The main directions of institutionalization of political science MPTT has become the place of scientific collaboration Independent discipline in terms of scientific qualification Imbalance in the institutionalization Department Group of Political Science was established in 1984 at the ELTE Faculty of Law
  12. 12. Conclusions, further research Political science began to institutionalize in quite diffuse circumstances: "forced product" of political relief processes and lagging behind due to the advanced institutionalization of other social sciences Strong political constraints and political/hegemonic power determinations Has not become the "science of democracy„ Detrimental effects of the political dependence Social basis of democracy Quantitative and qualitative analysis
  13. 13. References Ágh Attila: A magyar politikatudomány helyzete. Az MTA IX. Osztály Politikatudományi Bizottságának jelentése. Politikatudományi Szemle, 1996/1., 144. Az ELTE Állam- és Jogtudományi Kar Politikatudományi Intézetének rövid története. Forrás: https://www.ajk.elte.hu/file/TSZ_PTI_tortenet.pdf Balogh István: A politikatudomány Magyarországon az 1990-es években. Politikatudományi Szemle, 1999/2., 131–142. Bayer József: Beszéd a Magyar Politikatudományi Társaság ünnepi közgyűlésén a Társaság 35 éves fennállásának alkalmából. Politikatudományi Szemle, 2018/1., 7. Bihari Mihály: Politológia. A politika és a modern állam. Pártok és ideológiák. Nemzedékek Tudása Tankönyvkiadó, Budapest, 2013. 2. Csizmadia Ervin: Beszámoló. A magyar politikatudomány tradíciói (OTKA-azonosító: 69072) keretében végzett kutatómunkáról. 2010. Forrás: http://real.mtak.hu/2695/1/69072_ZJ1.pdf Kulcsár Kálmán: Korszakváltás a társadalomtudományban. Magyar Nemzet, 1979. szeptember 9. Valuch Tibor: A magyar művelődés 1948 után. In: KÓSA László (szerk.): Magyar művelődéstörténet. Osiris Kiadó, Budapest, 2006. 623. Vass Henrik (szerk.): A Magyar Szocialista Munkáspárt határozatai és dokumentumai, 1980–1985. Kossuth Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 1988.
  14. 14. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION!

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