The Department of Political Science cordially invites you to
the Departmental Seminar:
Rolling Stones: Dissident Intellectuals in Hungary, 1977-1994
by Andras Bozoki, Department of Political Science, CEU
Agnes Simon, Masaryk University, Brno
12 March, 2020 / 1:30 pm / Nador 9 GELLNER room
Extant studies about the role of Hungarian dissident intellectuals during the regime change focused mostly on the roundtable negotiations and the building of the democratic political system and market economy. In this article, we argue that this approach led to an incomplete account, and offer a more nuanced view of dissident intellectuals’ contribution to Hungary’s democratic transition Hungary. Looking at dissident intellectuals’ activity from the late 1970s, when they worked to undermine the Kádár-regime, until the mid-1990s, when they lost their political influence, we depict the model of rolling regime change. Identifying different forms of political activities and using descriptive statistical methods, we show that rather than constituting an unchanging monolith group in the “long decade” of regime change, both the membership and the political activity of the dissident intellectual movement changed periodically. Yet, the goal and some characteristics of the group has lived on. It was this constant renewal, certain level of continuity, and adaptation to the changing circumstances that made them so effective in shaping Hungary’s elite-led political and economic transitions.