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Departmental Seminar

The CEU Campus
Wednesday, March 30, 2016, 1:30 pm – 3:10 pm

Reality Claims after Democratic Transformation: Forms of Public Discourse within Hungarian and German Newspapers, 1990-1997


A previous analysis of post-1989 editorials in a Hungarian newspaper investigated ideological developments in Hungary in the first years after the communist regime had been replaced by elected governments. Using the same method we here investigate whether the same developments may have extended prior to Hungary’s democratic changes. Such extension might have entailed a gradual increase in modal rhetoric indicative of free market or social justice. No support is found for this in Hungary’s pre-1990 state-controlled media, however. Instead, modal arguments only appear with noteworthy frequency after 1986, and then only ones emphasizing Hungarians’ inevitabilities and possibilities without any consistent rationale.